Sunday, April 28, 2013

And so

As I said, my dad died. It was, on the one hand, physically rather quick. On the other, I think you could say that socially, or psychically, it happened more slowly. He had lived the last month or so alone, after his second wife left him. She did that because he kept these attacks of rage.  He would drink, and then get angry and hostile towards her, and break things, and cut up his feet and suchlike.

I think he raged because his dementia was progressing, and he saw his faculties slipping away, and that freaked him the hell out. So he would drink, which made things worse.

So it turned out that his last month or so was spent alone, and his faculties had declined so that he was no longer able to really read, which would have been a consolation to him. He couldn't hold a thread for that long. Which made conversations with him even more disjointed than they had been in prior years.  He'd still have flashes of wit and stories from many years back, he just couldn't remember well what we had been talking about 5 minutes ago. And that drove him ape.

So Leslie and I and Madelyn, the geriatric care manager Leslie had hired to help us manage him some months back, we would call and check on him. And I'd go and see him each week, and other people would check in too, but in the evenings he was alone, and though he tried to put a good face on it, it was hell for him. But nobody would live with him.

And, in the end, he lost the battle with alcohol, though he fought it valiantly in his own way, without ever availing himself of the armor that AA offered him. Something made him unable to simply say "I'm an alcoholic," though he liked to recount to me a book he had read about an alcoholic who fights the battle and in the novel's conclusion stands up and says "I'm X, and I'm an alcoholic." Dad would tear up as he told me that, but he could never really do it himself, try as he might by other means to not drink.

There is so much he never told me. He had always talked about the problems with his knee from a high school football injury. Only on the last day of his life, in talking with his sister, did I learn that the problem was not so much that he had injured it, but that his dad had told him to tough it out and not go to a doctor. So he limped for 6 months, and by the time he did get medical help his miniscus had been royally fucked. Only on his last day did I learn just how much of an alcoholic bastard dad's on dad was. So he got it honest. 

So much to process.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Slovak singles network

I was just over on Facebook, and one of its paid ads suggested I join a network for single Slovak-speakers:  "Partnernaurovni" which means something like "Partner on the level" i.e. same level as you, something like that.  How the hell should I know, I don't speak Slovak.  So I'm filling out my profile and I'm only 20% done. I had to tell them what my religion was and how important it was for me to find someone who's of the same faith as me. What a royal pain in the ass. I just want them to let me at them hot Slovak mamas, so I can have me a sugar lady next time I'm in Bratislava.  Yeah baby.

 .... so I continued on, and I got tired of looking at stuff and trying to figure out what it meant (it's not as hard as Polish, at least), so I've just been clicking on shit at random to see what they're algorithms will connect me with. It's gonna be one hot Mashenka, I'll betcha!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Really shouldn't be writing

My back is in pain from sitting at my desk all day really trying to get something done.

I haven't written for a long time.  In the interim, as many of you know, my dad died. On the one hand, this should in principle be a topic for endless reflection -- and, I assure you, it is.  In my mind I am frequently if not constantly running through scenes in my head from his last days, and from my imaginings of what it was like for him in his last month or so. He wasn't having a ton of fun, much of the time, though there were good times mixed in. I could write about it in some detail, and at some point in time, I probably will.

But not tonight.

Over the weekend, after dad's ceremony, I pushed myself through to the end of The Power Broker.  The ending of that is also sad, sad that this towering figure who did so much, and so much of it hugely impactful and wrong wrong wrong, and how he just gets hosed in the end, in much the same way that he so blithely hosed many others to their faces, and basically marred the landscape of both New York and, by example, America and the world. There is much to say there too, and in time I may say it. But, in the end, there is perhaps little to add to Caro, and the right thing to do is just move on to the four-volume series on LBJ.