Monday, November 28, 2011

turkey totalis

i had to say goodbye to my grandfather, for the last time, on friday.

it's so strange, to walk in to a place knowing it's the last time you are going to see someone. knowing they're not going to last the three week span until you come home again for christmas, the most times you've been back in a couple years to your hometown, much less a couple weeks.

i prepared myself for the worst, for the "walking skeleton" and "brittle-boned" man that my parents said couldn't even turn a door handle to get out of his bedroom...

it wasn't like that, because he couldn't get out of bed that day. he was too weak from the meds, to fucked up from the morphine patches he's started wearing because of the pain in his esophagus. so he just laid there on his back, head propped up on his hand backed by about four pillows (how very rubinesque, i guess), his wolf-blue eyes sliding in and out of our conversation. anything more that two sentences was too much for him to pay attention to, anything more than two words was too painful for him to say.

and that was that. i tried to make him laugh, telling him he didn't have enough pill bottles surrounding him, because making people laugh is the only thing i find i can do in situations like this, like death... it's like my brain just shuts down and the sarcasm sets in. but at least, he smiled. i had written him a letter, so i gave it to him, kissed him on the cheek, and told him i would see him when i came back for christmas.

we both knew it was a lie. but i think that's what he wanted.

i went outside and sat on his back lawn, overlooking a lake. well... not so much a lake as how it is described in the real estate booklet about the senior citizen development they live in rockwood, florida, more so a retention pond that overlooks the highway in the distance, but. whatever, they're old. they can't see that far anyway. i thought maybe it would be nice to buy him a cigar or tobacco for his pipe, sneak him away, and let him have one more smoke before he goes.

what must that be like? wanting one final puff of a pipe when you know it will be your last? hell. the man hasn't eaten solid food in months, maybe he would just like some of the turkey his family was able to enjoy without him the day prior... how could i be so delighted with thanksgiving repast when he was lying there, beginning the morphine "dreams of death", as they so lovingly call it...

it just seems so selfish to live when he's dying like this. and even though i know that's what he wants and it's the circle of life and all that other bullshit hallmark-card feel good quotations -

this life is so fleeting. even when someone dies a chronic death like his, someone who dies for years and years before they actually get put into the ground... it reminds us that this life, will in fact, soon be over. sooner than we think, and harder than we may feel it will be.

my thanksgiving was of celebrating my life, no matter which way i twist it. the goodbyes were just the evidence of that.


Saturday, November 19, 2011


things look so pretty
at 5 am, dripping
in lost pearls of wisdom
and waxing poetic...
the clear things like
"i miss you" and
"i wish we still talked"
are all the more clear
but still i know
better. 5 am
is 5 am everywhere, no
matter what time it is.