When I got home last night there was a message on my answering machine from my (half)-brother. Our dad is in the hospital. He was delirious and suffering from dehydration (the two go hand-in-hand with the elderly) on Monday, had driven HIMSELF to the hospital (pain-in-the-ass-never-ask-for-help type that he, and the rest of us, is and are).
There is just he and my step-mom in the house. There's plenty of family within driving distance, however. My step-mom's mind is shot and she really shouldn't be left alone. Dad had sense enough to get himself to the emergency room. However, he did not have sense enough (or time enough) to drop her someplace where she'd be safe -- from herself and others. So she was left home, alone.
Although he's 83, he'll probably be fine. This time. But the time is coming when "something" will "have to be done about" them both.
I have a half-sister and half-brother. Dad is really more their dad than mine. Aside from the sperm donation he didn't really have anything to do with me until I was an adult. That wasn't his "fault" (my birth mom was a vindictive, hateful bitch, not to put too fine a point on it), but we don't have a typical father-son dynamic in our relationship. We're more like cordial friends. We certainly don't feel obligated towards each other for anything. Or, at least, I don't.
And that's why I think that they are more my half-siblings problem than mine. Nobody helped me with my birth mom when the time came for me to become her legal guardian and to commit her to a nursing home. I had to walk through that pretty much alone. With an expensive law-firm in Wilmington, Delaware. My mom didn't have any friends at the end of her life, and she'd blown through about five husbands. Nobody wanted anything to do with her -- but it fell to the "dutiful son (me!)" to see to it that she was cared for. If you call old-age hell-holes "care."
So, forgive me for wanting to keep a polite distance from the current familial drama.
However, this coming on top of "H"'s death last week has left me even more distanced from life than usual. And it's not helping matters that this coming Sunday
Is it any wonder, then, that I occasionally lapse into thinking "Please God, just let me die peacefully in my sleep Saturday night"?
At least I'll look pretty good. I'm getting my hair done Saturday morning.
And my friends, L&M, are taking me out for a birthday dinner Saturday night.
Come to think of it, things are actually pretty good right now.
But come Sunday, if I live that long, I, like the late lamented Quentin Crisp, will officially become
One of the Stately Homos of America!