Sometime You Just Have to Grin And Bear It!
Since last we spoke, do you remember? When you would "giggled", and, I held by breathe hopping that you would?
We laughed, separately, together, at different times, in different places, at different times, and, occasionally one of you would send an "insulting, blistering"comment eviscerating my MasterfulEpic, with even wittier remarks and better comment, forcing me tolock myselfin the bathroom,bawling at the top of my lungs, throwing a tantrum on the floor like a baby, raining salty tears, then, quietly sucking my thumb.
Well, honey, that ain't happening anymore. No sir-eee, that's all in the past, now.
I haven't posted anything to The News Talker's , on my much maligned site,"Political Pornography",for quite a while,notsince that dreadful day when Iwas diagnosed with "pre-Alzheimer's disease" bymy family physician, Doctor Death,who broke the news to me in broken English with that "shitty" grin of his,and smiled, ear to ear,revealing big, long front teeth filled covered intea and hash stains.
"Oh, don't Cry For Me, Argentina", be happy, I shall not torment so many, so much, now, that I am growing silent, each passing day.
The world we be a peace, a better place without Mister Bitters.I believe my wife is find with the news. She thought something was always odd with me and suspected, as many other have, that I was just "Nuts"!
"Will you never shut up?" she would wailed. And, for the life of me,I couldn't it.
Despite the diagnosis, or, perhaps, because of it,Itook up one of my old, badhabit. I returned, to my "Stand Up, Sit Down, Roll Over Comedy Roots", and, now, occasionally, very occasionally, I amperforming "Stand Up" at any Open Mic Night thathas very, very "low standards".
Unfortunately, for some, I have found afew, a few too many, according to my lovely wife of 39 years. "Why don't you just die, already," she lovingly screams at me? Pointing her ever present rifle, as her light corn cob pipe dangle provocatively from his mouth."Why am I so attracted to that pose", I ask myself, even in the line of fire.
"Because, I'm not dead. That's why!", Ilovingly retort, and climb into to bed.And so, it has gone onand on to the "bitter end", I suspect.Maw in her nightie, whacking me with an iron skittle. "We ken't afford no 'Sleep Aides', now, that you's an exhausted roster", she teases with each whack.
"I'm retired, not exhausted, honey", I lovingly remind her.
"Lights out, hon!", she said just before the final "Whack, Whack"! One fer her and one fer me. It works. I get the best sleep I have had in years. Whack-Whack, deep Sleep! No need to pay a hypnotist. I'm out.
My son, Jonathan, the infamous "missing link", from Darwin's now banned book by backwoodsEvangelicalChristian's, taped a five minute audition set for me, at Wiley's Comedy Club in Dayton, Ohio, a local comedy club/biker bar combination"hang out" for drunken 40 year old motorcycle club members, who weretossed out of the Hell's Angel for being too rowdy.But, who are still into "the arts" enough that they want to "beat the shit out of someone that would dare to make them laugh", just fer the pure"fun of it", on even given Sunday night, when there are so few folks to stomp on the streets of downtown Dayton, Oh-Ho-Ho. Most white folks are home after 6:00 pm, clutching their shoot guns.
I intend to post the video, here, someday, if I can figure out how to do that again, and,then, be quick enough to post it, before I forget how to do it, again.
It's not that it's a great "comedy set". It's not, and, it may not bethat funny, if you are more mature than a seventh grader, which was a great year for me. My psychiatrist says thatmy "arrested development" started and stopped about that time.
The video is horrible, in truth; it's wobbly, the sound sucks, we planned it that way, because, well,it's "me" on stage, now, and, that is how I am: Wobbly!
After a forced hiatus of 45 years, I amperforming once againin front of a real, "live" audiencefor these special Sunday Night performances which are free of charge to the charges ofthe areas local institutions, jails, homeless shelter and havens forangry whitemen and the ordinary "riff raft", thatnowmakesup most ofthe audiences that I am privilegedand challenged to"bore to death, under penalty of law". It's a little side thing I have with law enforcement. Helps toround up the trash, keep the city neat for a few hours.
"At least they laugh", I remind myself,in between their constantlybanging about cleaning and, re-loading andflashing oftheir long barreled,automatic, legalweapons.
Oh sure, there's a lot of heatedhissing, some standard rowdiness, a few brawls, but, what do you expect fromhard core Republicans? Appreciation?
These Mid-West, Red State, Red Necks with Red Faces, you know the type, "good old countryfolks, draped in their Confederate Flags", drunk, hungry andgnawing oneach others armsare a "tough audience" to handle, but, they are better than the alternative - permanent silence! Which they are quick to introduce one to, in a New York heart beat.
I don't feel the weight of this disease, all the time. Just, occasionally,when I get up in the morning, mostly.
I do, often, these days, too often, it seems, feel as ifmy tiny, 100 gram plusmind is abused, misused and under appreciated. It was never was never clever, never accuse of beingthe sharpesttool inmy tool belt,, now it is even less clever,less agile. It introduced me to my wife twice, and, both time she slapped me. I just love that woman. What's her name.
In general, I feelawkwardly heavy, lethargic and sluggish, as, you, fellow"coffee addicts" know - sort of like that "groggy feeling" onegetsin the morning on your first"false start", prior to your "first slurp" of a hot cup of Java. The one you always take after you clubbed the dog to death for waking you at 5:30 a.m., when you are retired for "God's sake"! Whack, smack! "Wheremy damn coffee"?
I don't know if it is the diagnosis, or, the disease, but, depression sits well with me, now, hanging around like an old frienduninvited and lingering too long.
My mother died with this ugly mishapened anchor dandling, it seemed to me, as a reminder of her conditionfrom every kitchen cabinet door she forgot to shut; lounging about witheach item she could not rememberwhere to returnit.It cluttering up her home, her final years,like, well, a "crazy person".
My second oldest sister, Lois, is, now,in a nursing home, at the age of 78, walking in circles sporting a brand new Bengal footfall helmet, courtesy of the good folks from Bengals football team. They can't afford to pay their "Ben-Gal" minimum wages to perform at ever game, even make them pay for their own costume,but, they can afford to hand out football helmets to Alzheimer's patients for the publicity. Your Re-Publican-Thugs.
I know that shouldn't complain, itprotects her from the inevitable falls, as she and her fellow residents walk compulsively, squeezed togetherin a crowded circle of half disrobed walking flesh, day in and day out, routinely walkinground and round in a circle, drooling, bumping into each other,knocking one and another to the floor, as the staff watches TV, smokes and play cards.
I have only had the courage to visit her once since her husband call andshared withme the horrible, dreaded,sad news.I cannot bring myself to go back.
She drools, doesn't recognize me, speaks in a voice that sounds a little like Dustin Hoffman did in the movie, "Rain Man". Oddly, when I would ask her if she "understood me", at times, she would look up, respond with "Yes", inthis deep, sort of male voice and roboticly apologize for her misinterpretations.Repeating the question, as Hoffman, did in that wonderful, upliftingmovie.
Alzheimer's is a cruel, debilitating disease that crushes a family, spinsters it, then, viciously chews up those who tenaciously holds onto their love ones. It has twisted me into such a coward; a denuded, spinelessone, renderedunable to returnso seeher at that disturbing nursing home, unable to see her in that condition, unable to see myself, there in, perhaps,the not to distant future.
As sad, as I am for her, Iam stillangry at her; upset, that, unlike me, she vehemently refused to take the prescription medication that helped me to ward off some of the symptoms, and, is "proven to slow down the progression of the disease".
She read about the "side effects on-line". Weighed the odds, refused to take themand lost!
Now, she walks daily, often, at night,in that endless cruel, medieval circle within a cluster ofother patients, allsimilarly attired in their bathrobes, night gowns or pajamas walking, walking around that damn Nursing Home Alzheimer's wards in a circular room built exclusively for them to walk around.
How sad, how cruel, how unfair that disease is. I would rather be dead than suffer through that nightmare of an existence and put others through it as well. I support assisted suicide for chronically ill folks, who have no hope of recovery, and are a twisted mangled, living corpse unable to communicate, to control their bowels or bodily function, unable to connect with anyone.
I had tried repeatedly, beforeshe came down with the disease, to get her to start taking a prevent medication, Aricept, when she first started showing signs that was forgetting names and experiencing memory lapses. Iphone her repeatedly andexplained in detailto her the benefits that I had derived from taking it.I take a 10Mg Tab of "Doniprisil", a generic for Aricept, and, a booster, Nameda, which Doctor Death, prescribed to beshortly after my mini-stroke, because, I was beginning to slide and slide backwards with calling up words. For me,it works well, most of the time, except for that oneincident driving to the store naked. That was a bit off putting, but, the clerk got over it, even ask me for my phone number, which I couldn't remember. Good thing because, my wife, "Ice Pick", know how to use those things. She told me so, on our wedding day, that, and that her "hourly rate" didn't change because we were getting hitched.
"Oh, lordy, lordy", I cry out in "me" sleep, night after night!
"The price, this Left Leaning Liberal must pay foran over indulged, do nothing,indolent life of a ner'do well,sucking the system dry, while white, red faced, good old, crew cut waving,Conservatives bust their knuckles working from dawn to dusk to pay for my laziness, worthlessand endlesslust".
It just ain't fair, Lord. It ain't fair, I scream to the night.
The piper nowplays a macabre tune and bids me dance. But, for now, I prefer to sit on the stage and grin., while he fiddles, and joke about the end.
It was the weirdest thing, this mini-stroke, that started me on this wonderful journey, a journey back to finding and embracing "me", old, crazy, half less self. It happened while I was watching TV with my wife of 39 years, watching something she likes, while I pretended interest and day dreamed.
I felt, what I assumed was water in my ear, the feeling one get sometimes afterswimming. Itmoved ever so slightly into my ear canal. I felt it soft, suptle, slow movement, as I had done hundreds of times as a kid swimming in a nearby creek. But, I had not been swimming recently. I was just sitting near by wife, I wasabout to enter intoa "creek without a the proverbial paddle".
The fluid, a small amount, flowed gently, seductively,then, there, suddenly therewas NOTHING!
Literally, nothing! No connections, nonewith the outside world, none with myself. Nothing. No feelings. No thoughts. No fears, no sensations, no comprehension, no dialogue with myself, no sense of consciousness. Nothing. Blank!
After abrief interlude, thefluid moved a second time, instantly, I was back, "shaken, but, not stirred".
I never lost my sight during this TMI episode, but, I could hear nothing, either. There were nothoughts, not one; nofrets, not one, nor, did I move. Then, just as quickly, as it began,it was over.
I knew something was seriously wrong. I jump up, raced to the bathroom and took a baby aspirin as I had been instructed to do so by my doctor, who prefers to killhis patiencepersonally, in his office, so, he can enjoy it, rather thanthem taken in theirsleep, or suddenlydue to a heart attack or stroke.
Dutifully, I, as if in a trance, Iimmediately called his office, per his "Death Wish" instructions indoctrinationandmiraculous got an appointment with my doctor, for the next morning, pronto.
"Why, yes, please, come in. I always have time to see a mortallyafflicted patient", he said, or, my hallucination added.My doctor, like yours, or, all doctorsnow a days, is a foreigner. He is a wonderful doctor from Pakistan. A Muslim by faith, "killing one American patient at a time", I tell my friends, who ask, "Why don't you go to another doctor"?
"Because, my time is not up, yet! When he that shit eating grins of his with those wide, long,in that big tooth grin of his and says,"John, your nexton the list. Come see me in the morning".
That's when, I re-schedule, get a second opinion, but, not until, then. Finding a good doctor that is capable of speaking nearlyclear English is a difficult chore. Who has time for chores, any more, whore? Not me. Who keeps leaving the damn kitchen cabinet drawers open?
Although, it seems, to me, at time that death is "texting" me more frequently, I am, at the moment,"blocking" allhis messages. I did however, see him. He look exactly as they picture him in cartoons. A triangular shape for a head, a black rectangular body, flat black, no bling-bling, black like a blackwhole and silent, unmovable, but, I was doing the dishes, impatientand simply turn by back on him in a huff. He vanished.
"Stay, thirsty my friends", for I promise to tantalizing you with more gruesome tales from the "Bitter End", where my friend, Don Johnson used to work, in New York City, while I ran the Gaslight Caf in the Greenwich Village in the good old beatnik days of 1963.
Thank you for letting an old man rattle on! It was fun for me, not sure about you!