I’m trying to stay on top of things. My dad went to see a very good doctor at the end of last month. Their plan is to test for/treat the least invasive/most easily fixable things first. “Because,” my father so serenely says, “if it’s metastatic melanoma, I’m dead in the water, and if they go straight for the Alzheimer’s tests, nobody’ll bother to look for anything else. Plus, if they think you have Alzheimer’s, I hear they yoink your driver’s license.”
I’m cleaning all the time now, something I used to never do. I left home at 14-years-old, thus bypassing most of my chore learning years. Household maintenance is somewhat of a mystery to me. Despite my lackluster skill set, it’s suddenly become important to dust the tops of the picture frames, and catch all the spider’s webs in the room corners. And vacuum! I’m doing more vacuuming than I might have done my whole marriage before six months ago. When things are out of place, I feel compelled to get up and put them back where they belong. And so it seems I’m always moving these days. Albeit, in a big circle.
All the while, my mind is off in some weird, thoughtless, easily confused place. Misunderstood lyrics of the week: Turns out, Bruno Mars is not singing, “Is it that look in your eyes, or is it these dancing Jews?” Who cares, baby? He thinks he wants to marry you. Also, the radio edit in these parts makes Adele’s Rolling in the Deep sound suspiciously like, “go ahead and sell me out, and I’ll leave your fish bare.” This puzzles me a lot longer than it should. So long, in fact, that I consider changing cleaning agents, as I must be stoned on their fumes or something.
My dad is almost Flowers for Algernon-style cheerful about the whole thing. He came over today and announced he and Mom were studying up on whether/when he’d need a conservatorship. He was full of interesting tidbits on the legalities. Guess he’s always loved a project. It’s hard to tell him to shut up, I don’t want to deal with this right now, when he’s so damn cheerful and wanting to share what he’s learned. “Is it getting better – the symptoms?” I ask. He thinks about it. Nods slightly. Talks about something else.
When we run out of things to talk about, he excuses himself to go call my mom. He murmurs the number to himself as he presses buttons. Except the number he dials is a marriage of the cell phone number my mom’s had since I was 16 and their home phone.
I cringe, wondering if I should tell him what he’s done, or pretend I didn’t notice. He gets that recording: The number you’ve reached is not in service. Dad holds the phone to his ear, and since he’s deaf as a post, I can hear the recording blare across the room, but he listens to it like doesn’t know right away what’s happened. Or maybe it’s just that he is deaf as a post and can’t hear the message. Or maybe he just doesn’t want me to see he’s embarrassed. He folds the phone closed with great solemnity. Opens it up. Dials again. This time, it’s right.
Shit. Crying. Gotta go. PS: My house looks fantastic, bitches.