19 December 2010
1 olden days
the old man says he's dying.
this is the first articulation of a thought at which i had recently arrived myself.
but i am operating on the notion that we are supposed to concern ourselves with business. it is a notion born from The Family's decision to keep the news of old man's illness from me for a solid month. they did not tell me then and so i do not ask him now.
because i do not ask, the old man says, i'm over here dying and you don't even care.
because i have just finished reading a new yorker essay about the death of joyce carol oates' husband and i cannot put from my mind the conflicting thoughts that it is perhaps not only safer but best to never love and that JOC was damn sexy in her early days, i do not want to hear this.
i want to ponder the sexiness of young JOC. i am in no mood to hear that the old man is dying.
because when i hear that the old man is dying it makes me think of that woman in walgreen's. the one looking for tube socks.
i think about her a lot these days though i do not want to.
the old man says he's dying and he laughs. i take this as a joke though it maybe isn't meant to be. it's hard to tell these days. his humor has taken a sour turn. we laugh at things that are not funny.
but i'll take it, this forced laughter. i'll take it over the other. the calls that come late in the day when he's between naps and between drugs, and he says, his voice cracking, caroline, caroline, bear with me, i am not myself. i don't know what is happening to me.