March 6th, 2005

Coffee Squirrel

death and discordia

re-reading some of the funny and revealatory parts of "principia discordia". the fact that's it's actually been helpful during this time: my brother looking like a very tan inmate at auschwitz, my being here to get his kid ready for the first day of day care tomorrow morning, that i'm 35 and still have in the back of my head the impulse to drop everything and move to hollywood to make it in the movies so i can use the money to change the world a bit. it's all so laughable and sad. and all so right. even if it's difficult, you know?

i'm a simple creature. i don't need much. i just want folks to be honest with me. and i want to know. know what? anything. everything. tell me. talk to me. i'll listen. and i'll know that you're just as right as i am.

thinking on my own death, i don't think i'd leave much but some horrible writing, some REALLY old clothes (a "clockwork orange" t-shirt that's over 25 years old. threadbare, but i still wear it on occasion), a fat corpse and a sad mother. i hung with one of my nieces and sort of made her more comfortable in the nursing home and seeing her uncle so defeated. we went to the second floor and saw some birds they have for the residents to look at. there was a yellow one, tiny blue ones, and beige birds that looked like they were wearing orange eyeliner. i think little things like that might be remembered if i died today. this particular niece will also never forget how mad her mom was at me when i let her watch "nightmare on elm street 3" when she was four years old --HEY she DID beg to watch it. and i TOLD her to cover her eyes if it got too bad. now i have to pass all viewing material past my sister before i share it with her kids. to this day, though, she asks about freddy kreuger whenever i'm home on a visit. and the nightmares have stopped...

i prayed today at his bedside. it wasn't a concession to X-tianity, which i have broken with and now feel free to learn more about -- no. it was an act of respect for my mom who was near tears when she grabbed my brother's hand. it was so skinny and veiny. and his cheeks were so hollow. we both looked and silently acknowledged that *i* could probably lift this once-solid man on my own. i bowed my head when she said the lord's prayer over my brother's head. we all held hands: my mom, my brother, my niece's dad and me. we bowed our heads and looked at our feet, our hands clasped together, all the food that we brought that he wouldn't have the strength to eat after popping his contin (once every six hours to keep the edge off the pain)inside i was thinking: "let his suffering end; let his suffering end; let his suffering end".

he's leaving a SON behind. how surreal is that? i thought we'd have our solidarity together as the two who decided against kids. two years ago he broke our unspoken pact. he was near 40 when he his first kid was born. a year after that, he's diagnosed with cancer. now we don't think he'll make the week let alone his next birthday. we're alike in that being fussed over makes us nervous. i rolled my eyes and he rolled his own sunken eyes with me as we watched my mother and sister run about.

my mom's dad died in 2000. she still hasn't forgiven herself for arranging in time for him to come live with her. he died in a home. she doesn't want the same fate for her son. she said: "i can calm myself about my father by saying he was miles away in louisiana. but J is here. i'm not going to let him die there. i want him home". more power to her. i'm hoping i can help on that score. even if his voice completely goes, he can ring a bell and i'll be there. she can't take time off work. she needs to pay her taxes and a small mortgage she took on this house that she now owns outright. if she quit to be with him, she'd lose her pension. can't win. but i'm thinking of my brothers formerly big, booming voice whenever i showed doubt about something: "should i go to nashville? do you think i can make it?" "shut up and move, big-head! GO! you don't want to stay here your whole life, do you?" and i've been moving around since. you really can't win, you know. but i'm smiling. a sad smile. go figure.
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