Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I need to write something uplifting, something that is not as down as last few posts. Though the grief and the darkness is paramount in my family's and my lives right now, it isn't good, I think, to wallow in the morass of psychic pain. It is really easy to do that, though. Wallow, I mean.

But...let's think of something good. Every time I come home from my parents' house, down in the dumps, my little furry kids elevate my mood with a well-placed lick or snuggle. They are like four-legged Joy vehicles, their primary purpose being to spread said joy wherever they go.

So, times are tough, of course, but I feel that God gives us what we can handle. No more and no less. We will all come out of this horrible situation as stronger individuals. And my father will come out of this into freedom. Freedom from his earth-bound bag of bones and freedom from his emotional and psychic bondage. What is on the "Other Side"? I haven't a clue. But I believe that there is something, something better than this world of chaos in which we live. At the absolute least, my Dad won't be suffering anymore, and that is good.

I had never imagined that this would be so damned difficult, this letting go, this view of a family member's transition from this world to the next. I thought Hospice was supposed to be a more humane level of care. And, I suppose, its main premise is just that: monitor the pain (the physical pain) and make it so that the dying patient is able to rest comfortably in his or her last days. But, here is the problem: when the patient has lost mobility and the patient's right arm is rendered useless from the tumors compressing his spine and the Parkinson's makes his communication almost nil--yet his mind is still as alert as ever--where in all of that does the word "comfort" apply? Physical pain is but one facet of death. Emotional and psychic pain are just as prominent. And so that is where the feelings of my being handcuffed come into play. Without communication, there is no way that I (we) can alleviate my father's pain. And that? That flat-out sucks donkey ass.

I always believed in Jack Kervorkian's theories and practices, and more so now, when I have the worst--physically paralyzed, waiting and waiting and waiting for the preoccupied Reaper--staring me right in the face. I was too young to really understand my dad's dad's passing from ALS, but I imagine it was something like what Bobby B. is now going through.

And I look up to the heavens and I say, "God, what did my father do to deserve this? Why must it be so slow? Why must it be so humiliating and embarrassing and why must he be reduced to such neotonical physicalities? Can't you expediate the process, Lord?" Yaweh hasn't gotten back to me on that. I can wait. But does my Dad have to, too?

For Daddy B.
my heart rends for you
the skies are dark and cloudy
through this, Light will come

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I was going to write a poem, but that wouldn't cut it. I have to get this out in prose.

The cancer has exploded in my father.

As I watch him in his final days, I realize something that I should have realized long ago: this is one strong, brave man. I realize that what he has gone through, these last fourteen months, is a hardship that I can't even fathom. He's never whined; he's never asked, "Why me?" He's gone through the procedures and the operations and the indignities of disease with a pragmatic, dogged determination.

How much do I say? How much do I write? How much do I leave out?

I say this: Robert is a fighter. He's a damned heavyweight, though the skin and flesh sloughs. He is a battering ram, though the fucking disease renders him still.

It tears my heart apart. It fucking tears my heart apart to see him as weak as a kitten. I look at him resting, head slanted on the pillow, hair mussed, face puffed and red from the steroids and other medicines, and I weep--the tears just spring through my clenched eyes--because I remember him as Bobby B., my strong Daddy, a man of natural strength, and--I should have been more cognizant--a spiritual strength, a mental strength, an emotional strength.

Pragmatism as a rule. Get your ducks in a row, make sure that all the lights are off and all the T's are crossed.

He was dealt a blow two Septembers ago when he learned that he'd "caught" Stage Four lung cancer. As his brother was passing from cancer, my father learned that he, too, had the disease. In fact, they were both patients in the same hospital--my Dad was wheeled down to say good-bye to his brother. It was like some fucked-up baton pass. Brother Two gives it to Brother One. No. was a pretty surreal weekend.

And today was surreal, as well. I was paged from my class at Maplegrove--the class was about spiritual health--and I sauntered to the lobby, assuming that the page was for me to see my Addiction Therapist. I strode through the double doors to the lobby and then stopped short. My mom was sitting in a chair in the lobby, her purse at her feet, her cane across her knees. "Mom?" I asked, "what are you doing here? I get out Wednesday." She started to talk and then, glancing at another lobby-sitter, said, "Come here." And she gestured to the seat next to her. I got a funny feeling in my gut.

"Dad's not doing too well."

I was out and I--and my sisters and my Mom and my uncle and my cousins--spent some or most of the next ten hours at my father's bedside.

He winks in and out of reality. He's got something going on in his mind, his brain, and it scares me to look at it. Is he still getting his ducks in a row? I think so, yes. Heavy pain-reducing drugs could account for some of the shifts between realities, yes, but...God, I don't know. I just don't know.

Have I mentioned how helpless a person can feel when he or she is presented with a family member--the Love overflows--battling end-of-life issues, both physical and, especially, mental and emotional? Helpless.

I want to slam my fist through a fucking wall. I want to alleviate any pain that I can for my father. But I can't. I. Can't. I can only watch. Fucking watch. Yeah.

Impotent rage doesn't scare a soul.

And I look back over these last fourteen or so months and I flat-out kick myself. Tell me this: why did I wait until my Dad was in Code-Red before I fully accepted the gravity of his situation? I had friends tell me to spend as much time with him as I could and I had family members exhorting the virtues of kinsmanship...hell, even I thought I wasn't seeing him and my mom as much as I should. (Especially since I live only 20 minutes away.) Yet I stayed aback. I kept my distance.

[A slang word for vagina is pussy.]

I didn't want to see my Daddy get sick and old and die. So I pushed that thought--and my mom and dad--away. Any thought or mention of the situation failed to penetrate my denial. Intellectually, I knew it'd happen. Emotionally, I'd hear none of it.

So we are left with what we have now: son with regrets and father reliving his life through his dreaming eyes. And mother sleeping on the foldaway seat in the hospital room.

I have heard theories on grieving and loss and how people deal with said issues. Avoidance is not cool. It's emotionally busted. Yet that's what I did.

I can coo and crow and kiss my Daddy on the cheek all I want, now; it's too late. I can wipe his brow and dab at his sweat. For what? Should I not have been there for him three, five, ten months earlier? Should I not have made it a point to get to my parents' house at least once a week? How hard is that? It isn't.

I know how this story ends, but I don't know the timetable. I know how this story ends, but I don't know the machinations of the disease--I don't know how much of a fucking bastard cancer can be.

I know how this story ends, but I don't know how much my Daddy is aware of how much my sisters and I love him. I hope that our Love seeps through into his dreams and fills him with Courage. I hope that our Love seeps into his dreams and gives him an inward smile. I hope that our Love for him is apparent.

He knows.

When I left tonight, I kissed him fiercely on his bearded cheek. His skin was cool and sweaty. His eyes were closed and his breathing was labored. "Dad," I choked, "I'm gonna leave now. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?" He didn't answer. "Dad," I repeated, "I'm leaving now." I stated, "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Okay," he murmured, his eyes glazed shut.


Call me selfish--and I am--but I want my father here instead of in a near-death state. I doan want him to leave. I'd rather not have him dead. He's my Daddy.

I need to measure my love for him and my insecurities of living in a life without my father against his...pain. His fucking pain. I? I am an asshole. The dude's got cancer shooting through no less than six organs and I'm pitching a fit 'cause I...don'

How sad is that?

"Purty sad," drawled John Wayne.

Okay. I gotta leave here, now. I have spoken my piece(s).

But, no. I'm not done.

Parents die.

They leave, they die, they "pass on." And it fucking hurts. As much as I tell myself that it is a cyclical process of life--one of the food dieticians was pregnant (or grossly fat)--I can't get over, really, that my father is going to die. I think that there may be a world-wide amnesiac state in which people...insulate.
I am not prepared.

Life flows, so does death.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I am so happy. Not only that I have a beautiful girlfriend who knows and understands and loves me--warts and all--but I am also happy because I going to someplace in a couple of days that will help me. 'Cause, obviously, I have no chance of succeeding on my own. It is an impossibility.

Sucks to say, but true.

So...blah, blah and blah. Shutchu fucking ass up and go to a rehab. Seriously. Enough talk.

Just do it.

Okay. So I will.

In said rehab, they will, first, medically check me. Then, I'll be absolved of the cirriculam for the first day. That is a time in which patients detoxify themselves. During the first couple of nights, medical staff will enter my room, at various times of the night, and take my blood pressure and, perhaps (I've forgotten) load me with a tranquilizer so that I don't die of a seizure. That sounds worse than it actually is--except for being woken up repeatedly; that sucks ass.

Days will consist of meetings and classes that deal with addiction and alcoholism. Are they fun? No. Do they teach me much more than I already know? Hell, no. Are they an effective deterrent to slowly killing oneself with toxic beverages? Hell, yes.

Is it a vacation? Um, no. Is it necessary? I believe that, yes, it is.

There is a part of me that is completely embarrassed that I couldn't handle it enough. That I had to check myself back in to rehab. In fact, it peeves me, mos' def'. And then there is another part of me that says, "Sir? You couldn't handle it. You lack the proper skills. Get your ass--please!--and get back into rehab. Ya gotta, brother."

I acquiesce to that sometimes-not-so-quiet voice. Because he (or she) is brilliant. Time has lost relevance; important social functions have lost their urgencies. Health is a bugaboo. It is a waste of time. The only thing that matters is getting that next high-octaned beer. That? That ain't good.

On the plus side...wait; I'm thinking. On the plus side, I get to know how I'll feel when I am 70: washed-out, sick, trembly, weak, and with horrible breath. ;-)

So, yeah. Getcho ass to a rehab. Listen to what they have to say. Soak up all the inspiration and information that you can--ya fucking drunk. This *is* your life. *Your* life. Try not to waste it, let it fall to the wayside 'cause you wasn't strong enough to deal with your demons. That is both cowardly and, also, a tragedy, dude. Get yourself together, man.

Make your father proud.


Can I fast-forward to Sunday? :-)

Do they have Mozart in rehabilitation centers? They should. He is aural Prozac.

I'm going, I'm going.

This does not add up to being taken in "kicking and screaming." I want to go.

Y'all sick of this, yet? Because I am.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Support don't help. Love does not help. My own mind *definitely* does not help.

I cannot impart to you enough the weight of the monkey monkeying about on my shoulders.


If you are a tee-totaler, more Power to you. I wish I had your unaddicted mind for my own.

But. This the shiznizzle: Through a taxi cab or some other means, I am headed back to Maplegrove. Fuck. Shoot.

Fuck it. It is what it is. I cannot control the Monkey. The leash is frayed, at best.

So. And then it goes.

Shall I prepare myself for a life of Addiction?

Can't I kick this bumblebee to the kerb? Answered: Highly doubtful.

This makes me so fucking sad.

Fuggit. Life goes on. You need to have Perspective. What was once your most worrisome problem turns out to be, after time, your most hilarious joke.

But. I am heading back to rehab. Today or tomorrow--I ain't sure. It all depends upon the ride! =o)

Fuck it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I strongly urge you to try it! =o)

Just keep pouring that poison down your throat! =o) It is keen!

In other news, "The Shakes" aren't too fun. :-\ It kinda sucks to have your leg doing the heeby-jeebies. You look at your leg and you say, "Stop it, motherfucker," but it doesn't.

It is kicking the ills 'cause the bwane is soaked with liquor and it is sending out messages to the extremities, saying, basically, gimme more. More, goddamnit! Yesterday!


Ah. Fuck it. Life is good. I am not an amputee--not that there is anything wrong with that!--and my fingers work, as well. I love--and I think she loves me, too--a gorgeous woman and? What? Need I say more?

Okay. I will.

Nope. You had me at the "gorgeous woman." Shakes'll fade, but True Love never does.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Verbal diarrhea commences:

I saw my fam dambly today. Mom glows but Dad shrinks more every fucking time I see him. He is the shit. He's a guy that helped raise three wonderful (I know) children whilst working his ass off as a Chrysler exeutive and also an owner of an ill-fated fucking yarn store.

I kissed his hand today. He struggled to pull his hand out of my grasp. Have I mentioned that I was drunk? At my parents' house? To celebrate my sister turning 37 years old three days ago?

Well, I was.

The kissing of the hand had absolutely no homoerotic qualities to it. I kissed my Dad's hand because a hug was not enough and a handshake was ridiculous. I'm not quite sure how much my Dad knows that I love him. That sentence structure blew. Get over it.

I am not quite sure that my Dad knows that I respect the hell out of him and, in these bad physical (for him, at least) days, that I would lie down on a fucking sidewalk so that he could walk on my back over a hole.


Have I feminized my Daddy? Kissing hands, the proclivity to lie down so that he can walk over my back? Up to what do those things add?



Fucking Love, man.

It is really fucking tough to see a family member illing. Flat out: it blows donkey scrotum.

And I have dealt with it like the man I am: Avoidance.

Am I a fucking coward? I see it in me. I fucking smell it and taste it. Don't get too close to MaandPa because Pa is not doing well. He is fucking exiting Stage Left. Why am I such a fucking prick?

I don't know.

I know this, though: I love that motherfucking Robert Raymond.

Why can't I put them fifty pounds back onto his frame? Why can't I fill his hair with the luster that it once had? Why can I not lose to him in an arm-wrestling contest? Why can I not look at his physique and call him a bear?

How the fuck do I turn back the goddamned clock?


69 is a fan-fucking-tastic number. I would prefer 79 or 89, though.

I am pissed and more than a little heartbusted.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


I drift.

Washing Mexican-plated dishes or wiping the wash off of Beemers and Cadillacs--whatever. Just gimme the check--pay me under the table with caish--and I am happy. I have a morphine addiction, you see. I tremble in the morning and then all is good 'cause I shoot up. And, sometimes, I sniff.

Real world. I urge you to get used to it.

The most hatedly hated thing that I hate?! I really do "not-like" CEOs...and their minions.