Remember when I said barring anything weird, Dad should be fine?
Well, guess what. I forgot, Weird is our familial middle name. Dad is even sicker now than when he originally was when he had his heart attack. If it could go wrong, it has. I’m trying to remain optimistic, but it’s getting pretty hard. He’s still sedated; still on a breathing machine; still unable to follow commands; and still very confused and agitated from something called ICU psychosis. It’s painful to watch day after day.
It’s been a couple of rotten weeks all the way around. Besides my father being at death’s door, my mother fell and fractured her hip. We lost our beloved dog Suzie, and both of my cats are gone now too. Chef kept Jake when I came to Texas. In the time I’ve been gone, Jake formed a bond with him, and Chef has no one else in his life now. I couldn’t take Jake back with a clear conscience. This week, Chef and my anniversary would have been Saturday, and he’s feeling sentimental while I’m avoiding the subject completely. I won’t lie to him, and I can’t say what he wants to hear. These days, I ignore his telephone calls.
In one giant sweep, the landscape of my life looks completely different, and it has made me a little weirded out. Normally, I wouldn’t have noticed it all at once, instead easing into my reflections when life gave me a minute to breath before beginning again. This time, life just stopped like it hit a brick wall. It all looks so different now as opposed to a year ago. The thing is, I have had so much time to think, I have grieved, accepted, and put behind me, all those changes, and in record time. All because I’m bored.
I have had entirely too much time on my hands to think. I’m sick of thinking. I’m sick of waiting. I’m sick of thinking while I’m waiting. The voice in my head is starting to answer itself, and sometimes I can’t follow the conversation.
That’s right. I’m a horrible daughter. I’m bored out of my mind waiting for my dad to get well.
The upside is, I’m right where I need to be when I finally lose my sanity completely.
I’m not a terribly patient person even when things are going smoothly. This kind of situation is just like the fifth ring of hell in my existence. I’ve read several books while at the hospital; even one aloud to my dad. I’ve written some stories, delving into the new trend called flash fiction. I’ve played all the computer games that come installed in my laptop and a few weirdo ones I found on the internet. I’ve answered 4000 questions on Quora, joined Match.com, cleaned out my friend list on Facebook, organized my Google bookmarks (there were hundreds of links I never bothered to return to), and watched every morning talk show I can stomach. I’ve reflected on not only my marriage, my hopes, my dreams, my regrets, but my whole life since conception. I’ve mentally inventoried my entire existence while waiting for my dad to wake up, and I’ve summed it all up and tied it with a depressing pink bow. The meaning of life?…I figured it out. My brain is bleeding from the constant litany of crap flowing through it, all to the beat of Dad’s heart monitors.
I’m officially bored out of my freakin’ mind!
I know it sounds disrespectful…I mean, Dad is very, very sick, and I should be in constant prayer and worry, right? Yet, my prayers for Dad don’t take very long. worry just makes things worse, and I’m finding that time has slowed down to turtle-like proportions no matter what I’m doing. The doctors struggle for ways to say the same thing…we don’t know… and still sound in control of the situation. I want them to lie to me enough to make me believe they have a clue. They aren’t very good liars. All we can do is wait. There’s just no way around it. So, I wait. And I develop this encyclopedia of useless knowledge that won’t be any good once this is all over.
I now know how long people stay interested in tragedy. For the most part, my billions of relatives have stopped coming up to the hospital, settling instead for an update every two to three days. I am getting to know some of the hospital staff pretty well. One nurse and I ranked the attractiveness of some of the doctors on a scale from one to ten. Another nurse, a guy, bought me a coke out of the clear blue. and I spent the next several hours trying to figure out what his motivations were. He was hot, but something about him being a male nurse kind of made me think of him as gay even though he clearly wasn’t, and I was conflicted. I rescued a cat out of a nurse’s car engine in the parking lot. The woman was so thankful, and even let me keep the kitten…even though I clearly stated I did not want it. I know where to park my car so security won’t catch me smoking on hospital grounds. I know what the hospital cafeteria specials are for each day of the week and whether they are any good or not, and the guy at the convenience store next to the hospital knows me by name, and gives me a free lighter every time I stop in there…even when I’m not buying cigarettes. I actually look forward to our brief interaction each morning; it’s the closest thing I have to a relationship these days. I question the condition of my soul. I saw a little girl in pigtails coloring in her Sesame Street coloring book in the room next door, and I actually felt like tackling her and taking the book and giant crayons for myself. Envy is ugly, people. I thought about buying a coloring book for myself, but then I remembered, I hate coloring….always have, even when I was a kid. After the mental drama, I reflected on the demise of my soul given the envy I had just experienced. It wasn’t even real, but it kept me busy for about three minutes. That’s how bored I am.
I tell you all of this so that you might have pity on me and step up the prayers for Dad, and throw a little one in there for me. I’m losing my cookies over here. :-)
- Flash Fiction : A Difficult Funeral (thezombiechimp.com)