Anonymous.

“Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.”

~ T. S. Eliot

I believe
that so it goes:
the gift of humanity
is bestowed,
to souls with empathy,
and only those,
a carrot hanging,
a step ahead of me,
ever-dangling,
before my nose;
and not just mine,
but anyone,
from the assembly line,
from which I come,
we’re made to ache,
to hurt – to burn,
from day one,
to ride the wake,
to bend and break in turn,
until our last words,
to be heard,
have finally come;
the world is cruel,
unless you’re blind,
it’s a flea-ridden fool,
that succeeds the unkind,
it constantly bleeds,
sucks up my energy,
drains the tide pools,
swallows the sunshine;
for those like us,
nothing is anonymous,
nothing can ever be fine,
no peace,
as we sleep,
only the fire,
from the front-line.

I Know.

I know what you’re thinking…

You’re thinking dark things to yourself now…like:

how all of those people in your past, the ones you helped nurse through to recovery from breast cancer, colon cancer, even a brain tumor; they’ve all gotten well and forgotten about you, when you needed those kindly offered favors returned. Oh Mama, how well I perceive how you feel.

You’re thinking about all the years that you poured out of yourself into others who are long dead already; you’re thinking about how short your end of the stick turned out to be; you’re thinking that you’ve been conquered by the things that other people do or say…or don’t do or say; you think it’s time to resign and become this helpless refugee who can’t find the motivation in your brain to keep your body moving your bones.

I’m thinking about how strong your spirit is when I look down onto your drawn face and seek out any flicker of light within those sunken eyes; I’m thinking back onto my youngest recollections of you: a beautiful woman in a skirt and pantyhose, wrenching at a flat tire on the freeway shoulder – not giving a fuck. I’m thinking about how much you have gone through in your hard lifetime already, even before Cancer pirated your body and brain; before your partner abandoned you and you became homeless…and, when I think about these things, I can barely breathe. I’m thinking about how you have the right to decide when you’re too tired to fight this bullshit life any longer, to “throw in the towel” as you said this morning to my nodding head and tear-streaked face. I’m thinking about so many things that make me feel as if I’m being strong-armed by some invisible being, robbed and stripped of my medals and badges.

You’re thinking it’s time to go; I’m thinking how much I hate the fact that I understand how you feel, completely.

Mama, you are not helpless, you could never be that; you’re not built that way…but you can be tired; you can be forlorn; just don’t be gone too soon.

Delay.

FOREWORD:

They say that the delirium is late-stage cancer – nothing more. Perhaps it is, I can’t say at this point. What I can say is that the delirious woman is still my mom; is still worthy of my love and support; is still a person who I love very much, suffering…dying.

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Let me tell you a short (though, repetitive) story; one I have come to know by heart without consciously trying…one that plays itself out through each and every nightmare I have if I am lucky enough to fall asleep deeply enough…one that has come to define each and every “visit” I get with my mama, anymore:

The Bedpan: It is an inevitable circumstance, no matter where mama is.

In whichever facility that she is hospitalized, she is bedridden and increasingly unable to move without severe pain. She, therefor, has been reduced to a bedpan or commode when she is lucid, or, a fucking adult diaper, otherwise.

In her lucid times, the diaper must come off, else she have a massive coronary. During these interim of semi-coherence for her, is the perpetually running song and dance of trying to go to the bathroom. My mother is on diuretics for edema in her legs at present, and therefor has to pee like every 15-20 minutes no matter which state she is in…a detail that seems to define every moment that I spend with her anymore: the horrid revolving door of trying to get a fucking bedpan in time.

The orderlies and nurses are slow as molasses in any setting we have been; they seem to take pleasure in the circumstance of making my mama wait until she can’t hold it any longer, and a mess ensues, without fail.

Then, there I am: frustrated beyond words with the staff for letting this happen AGAIN; and there’s mama: so broken down and defeated by the humbling experience that she’s enduring, she just cries while I clean her up. Each and every time this occurs, it sinks my mama lower into her resignation to death and departure. Each time she cries, it does something to me that I can’t yet find the words to express accurately, but I can say with certainty that her tears in this context make me want to seriously hurt someone, or worse.

As a result of this hideous cycle of requests for basic assistance, delayed responses, messes to clean up, and mama’s subsequent withdrawal further into darkness, I have begun to absolutely dread going to see my dying mother at all.

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The Empath and The Opportunist – Continued.

He is carrying on about the business; about profit and loss…I am sitting here across the table from him, wondering why the Hell I even have anything, much less such a co-dependent kinda thing, with this fucking guy of all people.

His father just died, after a long and trying illness, he is sad and needy right now; yet, he only wants to talk business, as usual. Whatever dude…let me print out a P & L and we will comb the fucking books then, fine with me.

Men are so puzzling this way: so likened to a fucking light switch when it comes to using the experiences we have in life as a means of enriching our relationships with each other. They don’t know how to approach it, they just kill the whole operation; they can’t figure it out, they just tune it out; they can’t accurately compartmentalize it, they simply pretend it isn’t there.

Men seem just as happy (or so they like to believe) with stuffing it all down until they are no longer capable of stuffing. And then: Ka-Boom. Right?

This particular man has the capacity to say the right things and do them too, when it might suit his fancy for whatever reasons…but, those times hardly ever overlap with my own times of receptiveness these days, after all that’s passed between us. He has that shit-eating smile that can stop traffic from across the street; but he also happens to be one of the very last people I would ever lean on for any reason – as I have learned the lesson in his case that I will fall the fuck over, should I lean even the slightest bit on him. He always said he loved me because I am “built with so much substance” and am “so deep of a person”, and the reason he thinks he “loves” this about me is because he lacks these things completely. He sings such horseshit as “stability” and “security” (please note: he straight the fuck up tossed me like last week’s milk like two years ago and badly broke my heart), while sporting me on an arm that he can detach from his shoulder at any time via some hidden release mechanism. I am honest with him about how I can’t and never could again – trust him on the levels that matter (to me, at least)…he seems to care less. I don’t sleep with him any more either, and haven’t for almost two years, so he knows that I’m not just talking shit. Whatever, let’s file a tax voucher instead.

Abuela.

Read about the Incident can be found here:

Based on the communal nightmare that took place in my mother’s street (literally two doors down from her home) the other day; and, after seeing firsthand the ways in which panic and confusion can easily take over an already chaotic scenario, I have decided to take the initiative of beginning a “neighborhood panic button” for my own neighborhood. I do not foresee any situation in which a gunman takes, and subsequently murders a hostage – but my parents wouldn’t have foreseen it, either. I feel obligated in a sense to do this for one main reason: empathy. As an outsider who was caught alongside the insiders during this horrible event’s unfolding (a total of 13 hours by the time we were cleared to leave the vicinity), I can say with certainty that things could have been handled very differently in regard to the surrounding neighbors – by the surrounding neighbors. This had NOTHING to do with police actions that were littering any square of sidewalk for blocks in any direction, either…they did an impressive perimeter lockdown and had every resource at work from the time they arrived until they finally left during the wee morning hours the next day.
The issue I kept feeling like I was backhanded by was undoubtedly the overall lack of concern, cooperation, and/or compassion put forth by the very people that live there. It has never been a very close-knit neighborhood, despite what everyone is saying in the news since the incident. Nobody, save Abuela (the woman who was killed), my mother (not my step-father because he is as inti-social as it comes), a Slavic man with a tiny dog named Tiger, and two archaic elderly couples on either corner, even speak to one another regularly. The few people who behave neighborly to one another have only come to do so with a long passing of time and necessity (an earthquake, a car accident outside, etc.). People had no idea that Abuela was even in trouble, much less – that kind of trouble; my mother did not even hear the shots that killed her from two houses away…I swear to the Gods at one point early on in the stand-off, I heard the Korean man who lives in between my mom and the crime scene in his backyard sorting through his recyclables – I would have assumed he was completely oblivious to what was going on, but am positive that he knew because we had all been put on lock-down and the police had been in and through the houses surrounding Abuela’s, including my mom’s. I just feel like maybe if her neighborhood gave a little more of fuck about one another on a humanitarian level, things might have ended differently…I don’t know. What I do know is that THIS is prime example of why neighbors should be neighborly to one another during times of NON-CHAOS.
Empathy is a near extinct and quite unpopular notion, I know…but when are all these uppity, self-absorbed, judgmentally challenged idiots everywhere going to grasp the concept that it is, and always has been EMPATHY that sets human beings (as a species) apart from the rest – – – we are doomed undeniably if we let it fade to chaos.

Anonymous.

“Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.”

~ T. S. Eliot

I believe
that so it goes:
the gift of humanity
is bestowed,
to souls with empathy,
and only those,
a carrot hanging,
a step ahead of me,
ever-dangling,
before my nose;
and not just mine,
but anyone,
from the assembly line,
from which I come,
we’re made to ache,
to hurt – to burn,
from day one,
to ride the wake,
to bend and break in turn,
until our last words,
to be heard,
have finally come;
the world is cruel,
unless you’re blind,
it’s a flea-ridden fool,
that succeeds the unkind,
it constantly bleeds,
sucks up my energy,
drains the tide pools,
swallows the sunshine;
for those like us,
nothing is anonymous,
nothing can ever be fine,
no peace,
as we sleep,
only the fire,
from the front-line.

The Empath and The Opportunist (Still Going).

Last night I had a “date”; not really like a date, because it wasn’t a new person and I didn’t go anywhere…okay, last night I spent time with the Opportunist because I was lonely and emotionally weakened by recent life events.
I shouldn’t have even looked at my phone yesterday at all based on my state of mind over my daughter, but hey – old habits die hard I guess.
He texted me some smart ass remark how nice my ass is out of the clear blue at like 7:30am though, so it was kinda hard to ignore; not to mention the fuckin’ guy’s timing…he must have a sensor of some kind that tells him when my guard is down or whatever, because he pops up without fail (as a good opportunist only should) when I am weak.
Anyway, so yeah…he ended up coming over and we watched Gunslingers and some lame show about gold mining in the arctic or some whack shit. I gave him whatever opportunities he needed last night…and that was that. He says I need to “work on my people skills”…that being asked to get dressed and go home after sex would be highly offensive most guys and I’m “lucky he knows where I’m coming from”…I guess it was always like that between us – even when we lived together, I slept separately at night because I wanted to.
In summary, having a “date” with the opportunist last night only re-affirmed how well-suited someone so shallow is for me at present…because I am still an emotional and social train-wreck, apparently.