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Jan 14 2015

Dispatches From Hellpeckersville-Small World

(8 PM – promoted by TMC)

I’ve been out of the house twice in the past month. Once, up to the doctor to get a bunch of shots in my head, and another time to run up to my son’s school to buy tickets for his show. Both times I was gone less than an hour. It’s a small world I’m living in right now, and for the foreseeable future. I suppose if I really wanted to go somewhere I could pick a day and make arrangements, but It’d better be something good, because damn it, I’m exhausted.

Most days I don’t have the teevee on. When I do, I try to put on something pleasant, like HGTV, Mom still gets feisty at the teevee, in fact, yesterday she smacked it. I didn’t realize it was going to get physical, usually she just walks up, yells at it and gestures. Yesterday somebody on HGTV crossed the line, what line? I have no idea, but it was to my chagrin.

She sits beside me or across from me all day, asking the same questions over and over.

Is it cold out?

Yeah, Ma, it’s pretty cold.

Where are the boys?

In school, Ma, it’s a school day.

Who the hell are those guys????

Just actors in a show, it’s teevee, just a show. I’ll turn it off.

Where’s Agnes?

In Ambler, Ma, she lives in Ambler.

Once in a while there are others, like when she picks up the pepper and says yuck, what the hell is this, but those above I can count on.

Every time she stands up I ask her if she needs the bathroom. I’ve learned my lesson, I don’t want to see what infrequent bathroom breaks lead to twice. I won’t go into details, it was not pretty. I go with her, she doesn’t remember whether the TP goes in the toilet or the trash can, so she wavers between the two. Down in, Ma. She’s usually pretty good, except the time it landed in my hand. I was not prepared. She had never even given a hint that she’d considered a third option before that. Thank the Deity that I do not let her even attempt to wipe anything but pee.

She eats things she would never have eaten before. Sunday I gave her a piece of cherry pound cake and watched fascinated while she ate it. She really liked it, asked for another piece. I gave it to her and watched her enjoy every bite. She’s hated anything cherry or cherry flavored for as long as I can remember Most things she remembers she hates, but with sweets? Not so much.

I try to play games on my computer, and sometimes she’s good with it, but other times? She sits beside me and picks, or she sits across from me and starts tapping. That’s the universal sign to all that she’s getting antsy. Oh, we don’t want that. She’s looks at the mail every day and gets antsy as hell. The address bothers her. It’s the address she’s lived at for about 50 years, but she wants to see the address with the town she lived in when she was young. This one isn’t right to her.

I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want to complain. I can’t even begin to explain how surreal it is to talk to her all day. Pleasantly and calmly answer the same questions, act like I’ve always been her potty pal, her cigarette sheriff, and all around keeper and best friend. I remember the conversations we used to have. Then, she could hold her own with just about anyone, and now she struggles with more than a sentence or two. I struggle too.

So, sometimes my world feels tiny. Like there’s nothing but this, and it spans out ahead of me, endlessly.

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