I went down for a quick lunch with Dad. We went to a nearby place that isn’t good, has bad service and smells like a bad diner. But it is popular for the over-senile/decrepit set because it is a close walk from many once-bustling-high-rises-now-de-facto-old-age-homes (welcome to the Sutton Place area). At the diner, there is a special area for canes and walkers, once the elder has been seated. There are less chairs available than one would think necessary because — well — the proprietors need to accommodate wheelchairs.
Dad looks better than most there.
As we are looking at the menu, he says, “I don’t remember when I last had a hamburger.”
Sidebar: I think BUT DO NOT SAY, “Of course, you don’t remember, Dad. It was last Saturday when we had this same conversation at the other diner, you know the one that is far enough away so there are fewer undead people there? You had a hamburger.”
Still, Dad sometimes surprises me by retaining information from one day to the next. “How was POB’s job interview?” he asked. Whoa, POB told him about it on Thursday. Awesome job, Dad.
I know many of the peope in the Diner of the Living Dead from the neighborhood. I grew up here. One, who is Dad’s friend, came over and wanted to talk to me only, almost ignoring Dad and Dad’s health aide (are people invisible?).
Odd because he is usually a warm and friendly, if homophobic, guy.
He was clearly in despair. He needed home heath care information for his companion of decades. Her kids were handling matters without talking to him and he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t even bother to brag about his daughter’s life as a married, wealtlhy, successful, procreative heterosexual. Now, that was a red flag for how the situation has deteriorated.
I listened and gave him what information I could. He seemed unable to cope with the little I was able to offer. I will follow up with him but I think he needs care, too.
Sidebar: I might have to call his daughter. I will start the conversation with, “as a married, well-to-do (before the crash), successful (before the crash), procreative (after a fashion) homosexual to you, the person I was supposed to be: get your ass back to New York and take care of your dad.”
After the conversation, Dad said in a sad but resigned way, “he doesn’t look or sound so good.” I nodded.
And then I screamed so Dad could hear (relying on the deafness of those around me):
“Dad, you are doing so much better and you had a brain bleed that shorted out some electricity!!”
We are nothing if not blunt.