Last we heard of my stepfather was in "The Adventure of the Twisted Catheter", during which episode the doctors, such as they are, thought he had kidney failure. No -- he was all backed up because he wasn't being drained. Effing morons. Effing malpractice. Today my mother told me they were suggesting the possibility of putting him in hospice care, that is, keep him comfortable but do not take extraordinary means to save his life in the event, likely, of a crisis.
Let him die, in other words.
I'm against it.
My thinking is, Jack in the Box killed him. Thirty years of white bread, potato starch deep fried in rancid oil, factory meat rich in omega 6, and some sort of colored, sweetened liquid chemical concoction. Out of that nutritional base, the likely if not inevitable outcome will be Parkinsons, Alzheimers, diabetes, and, um, something else.
I have an unexpressed but effectuated disgust with my mother and her fecklessness. She pissed away every penny she and her husband had, on my brother and his family -- private school for three kids, K thru 12, probably college although I never inquired, music lessons, private sports coaches, various and sundry legal expenses, don't ask, etc. What was she planning on having in her old age? The housing crash destroyed her ability to refinance, which is what seemed infinitely possible back in the heady days of yore. That was her plan, I guess. Refinance in an ever-expanding real estate market. Poof.
Upon her husband's imminent passing, she will lose half her social security. What then? Honestly. Four years ago or so I took two rooms of her house and made an apartment. I'm most proud of the door and porch I built, on the side of the house. Actually quite nice, for what it is. A monthly $900 bucks, out of nothing. Where would she be, without that? My brothers are useless. I'm the male bachelorette eunuch son who will grow old taking care of his mommy. Not a fate I would have plotted out for myself, except there it is.
I've had some time starting with the past two weeks, which I have used entirely to rest. Didn't realize I needed it, but I did. Now I'm going to go buy a bunch of building materials and get my stupid mother another $1000 a month. Building a kitchen onto the garage, and a bathroom -- plumbing, electricity, roofing, flooring -- house wrap, sewage pump and tank, digging, footing, type-S mortar, cement blocks, concrete, 2x4s, plywood, rafters, underlay, shingles, nails, sealants, lagbolts, laminates, fixtures, faucets, wiring, switches, pvc, doors, jams, joists, raising the bathroom area, toilet, tub, sink, fencing, latticework, landscaping, AC, windows. Et cetera.
You see why I've been dilatory. It's daunting. It will take a few months, at least.
Then I may have to do it again -- there's a side area next to the garage that's room enough for another place. Point is, I can't have my poor stupid hapless mother living hand to mouth. Dealing with two or three tenants is a hassle, but at least it brings an income. That would make her comfortable, at least. Was she thinking her husband would live forever? -- cuz she's gonna lose that money, and then what. Stupid stupid stupid.
Whereas I have always planned on living on a few dollars a day in the desert, in a trailer, when I'm old. Alone of course. That is my fate. I think I've given up on anything else. I am after all a eunuch.
Her washing machine stopped working this week, and she was all panicked about that. Well, of course. Her plan was to go to Sears and get one for $400 on sale. I said repair it, and she said once they start breaking down they go bad. I got her some numbers, and the repair cost $90. Please note the difference between those two costs. I told her to keep the guy's number. I don't need cheap, but I require reasonable.
Her current tenant has lost his job, at Warner Bros, and she lives off that income. Of course she spent the security deposit, so I'll be supplying that. Meantime, I'm advertising, "Charming Attached 1-Bedroom Apartment" in desirable leafy neighborhood. All true. "Charming" means "small". Truth in advertising. Point is, I will be taking up the slack until it's rented. I am not cheap, but I am very frugal, and I consider my resources to be tight. I would like some savings, for my desert retirement 15 years hence. And I have a phobia of passing money on to my parasitical sibling and his ungrateful and entitled family. I already monitor her checking account and put money in when it gets low. Don't know if she knows that. And I give her cash. Maybe four or five hundred a month.
What was she thinking.
But I am aware of my blessings, and it is necessary to share, with those who are helpless, and with those who are foolish but for whom one is responsible. I don't suppose I am gracious. I'm too honest and judgmental for that. But I wouldn't say to her what I've said here. Wouldn't do any good. I did hear myself saying, actually uttering the phrase, "Money doesn't grow on trees" when she announced her plan to buy a new washer. I was a little exasperated.
You don't want to admit it, because for all the turbulence of our relationship you have benevolent feelings toward me, but I am, truth be told, mentally disturbed. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, whatever. There is something not just twisted but broken in me. It manifests as a sort of apathetic self-destructiveness. It can be mistaken for integrity, but it's not. Integrity is the opposite of brokenness -- one is not here referring to a relationship with God. I'm becoming more and more aware of this, and it troubles me.
I still do bjj, and today a young fellow started, an actor on a Disney Channel show. Came in with his mother to sign up. Aggressively charming young man, forceful in his good manners. Trained to be that way. Stage mother, if you know what I mean. It was almost comical, almost frightening, she was such a stereotype. Looks much older than she must be, because of all the makeup and presumed surgery. Like a shrink-wrapped bag of toothpicks, tight and sharp and troweled into her Jordache jeans or whatever the fashion is. Very creepy energy. But a charming young man, especially once he realized he wasn't auditioning. Son, be natural. I may get a chance to model some common sense -- I can fake it. Child actors ... not a great prognosis. Stupid parents and corrupt adults, mostly.
So, the theme for today: stupid parents.