I came back to cottage # 43 to take a nap but instead polished off the Glenfiddich 17 (or possibly 12, I can’t recall because the bottle has already been taken to the recycling bin) and went through the box of cards I found in my father’s closet. You see, he is an amazing artist, despite having become a medical doctor because his own parents thought his dreams of becoming a wildlife manager were not going to provide him with enough God-almighty dollars, and so he has over 6,000 (at least) photographs loaded on his iMac which I have been wrestling with the past week to get his iPad set up so he can look at butterflies.
He perks up when he hears a birdsong and we tried to play the identify this song game but of course apple wanted someone’s credit card number for the free app, so I gave them mine which is always dubious as I can’t seem to live off the edge for more than a year or two at most (having decided to do exactly what my grandparents warned against–pursuing my first love, well actually more like third, and choosing a ‘career’ in film and television. (The first two are poetry and photography, with a hint of horses, the ocean and little creatures in there as sub-categories).
Back to the day at hand. My father keeps his room at 90 degrees or more. I am now wearing a t-shirt in Ohio after 8 inches of snow fell. This from a girl who does well in hot, humid climates, but loves snow because I never get to see it living in Los Angeles and now I guess I love snow because I guess you could call these pre-hot flashes for my pre-menopausal state, which I have self-diagnosed being too poor for even Obamacare.
My grammar and syntax are not up to par, and for that I apologize to all my English teachers and professors, but not to Bukowski, Henry Miller or T.S. Eliot, my favorite writers. This is all their fault.
That’s the worst-written preamble to a confession I’ve written in a while.
LET US GO THEN YOU AND I
I sit down to go through my dad’s cards that he has made (photographs of birds, butterflies and petroglyphs) because I want to send thank you cards to all my friends who have rallied to send me here to see him for what could or could not be our last time seeing each other in the physical realm. I love my dad for many reasons — not the least of which being he is actually my adopted father, and for some reason, we have always just ‘got’ one another from the watermelon seed spitting contests, to playing poker for M&Ms to today when he flipped off the nurse (who I ‘luckily’ met later and agreed) with a gesture I can replicate but not explain and we laughed the way that Walkers laugh. She is a bitch, this nurse. I have let her know with my body language and explanation of how I clean his urinals because they stink of piss.
I apologize in advance, retroactively and from afar, so bear with me, there’s a story here in this roasted chestnut and for those of you who say you don’t understand me, well yes, you could hire me an editor or just leave me the fuck alone.
I sit down on the ‘love seat’ in his cottage and start going through the box of cards (one thing that did not have blood on it from his ‘recent’ ambien-induced sleep-walking fete that took him into his closet and left him bloody–thanks Cleveland Clinic best heart doctors in the world jerk-offs for not caring about your patients, even the ones who were residents and interns at your esteemed medical establishment, and me, I was born there–go figure) — and I start looking at the cards and choosing which one goes to Ashley, and Val, and Virginia, and the lovely high school friends who have so kindly helped me in a time of need that I don’t like one bit — and I started to cry as I have been doing lately, and I am not a crier. I hate crying. I am the person you can cry to. I am the strong one. I am the one who has nothing to lose while you have everything, and I can always make you feel better (emotionally that is, let’s not go to that other place right now)…
Because — well I don’t know why, to tell you the truth. I am crying right now.
It’s like when I would drive down Kahuna Road on Kaua’i at a certain stage of my life and when I would hear “Rocky Raccoon” on my White Album maxell tape, I would start crying. ROCKY RACCOON? Yes, it used to make me cry when I would hit this one turn in the road where I could see the Pacific ocean just perfectly as I passed Kapaa High School.
My Dad’s current girlfriend (he left my mom after 38 years of marriage, our family pretty much imploded and with it any hope of me believing in marriage–I have remained UNMARRIED despite having common law status relationships with 2 men in my 49 years, who I ultimately don’t trust) told me that my father said to her — he wouldn’t do a thing differently in his life.
We’re like that–I never regret. I don’t believe in it.
Thank you for putting up with this stream of consciousness…
Now, I must wipe away those aggravating tears and prepare to meet the grandkids of a dear friend of my Dad’s who want to go into FILM as a profession. And you know what? I don’t discourage kids from that–I just try to save them some pain.