A day like any other
We’ve been home now for almost a month and I haven’t seen my father since we moved back in. He went back into his room, turned on the television and shut the door. The End.
Well, not quite the end. I do have to go downstairs from my office 3 to 4 times each day to fix his television. I hear loud cursing, the usual French Canadian onslaught of anti-Christian profanity followed by the white noise of a television that’s lost it’s cable connection. I go down, turn it back on, ask if he needs anything else and get out as quickly as possible.
The ever present smell of fried food absorbed from hours spent at his favorite pizza place, combined with Old Spice and canned sardines/mussels/oysters- whatever the ocean caught delicacy of the day is- exacerbated by this week’s heat and humidity… suffice it to say it’s too much for this wolverine nose.
Every night we have the same conversation.
“Dad. Please take a shower”
“I just took one”
“Dad, it’s Thursday”
“I’m not dirty”
“Dad. You stink. It’s time”
“Tabernak, ostie, sacrament, mozusse…mon crisse” … (at which point my husband exits his hiding place in the shrubs where he’s been listening through the window, laughing, waiting for this conversation to end).
“Dad, take a shower”
“I just took one”
“Dad, it is Monday. That was seven days ago”
I try to be patient and kind. Which is why I’ve also been hiding in my room. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, isn’t that what we’ve been taught?
Tonight while papa was hosing off I took some time to read his mail. The letter from our attorney arrived today asking us to detail the events leading up to the accident for which he is being sued for hitting another car at the rate of 5 mph. I can only imagine the pain and suffering he must have caused his victim at that rate of speed. It must be akin to being broadsided by a bumper car at Canobie Lake…
So to put what I will be facing in court, as his caretaker and spokesperson, in perspective, let me share a family story.
When I was a college student I would come home on the weekends to work. One weekend I was getting ready when my parents came home. They were arguing loudly as they headed up the stairs. My mother had undergone six botched carpal tunnel surgeries which had permanently damaged the nerves in her right hand and she was suing for malpractrice as she could no longer use her hand to work.
Mom and Dad had just left her trial so I asked how things went.
“How do you think it went? They asked your father for his name, he got that one right.
They asked him his phone number. He didn’t’ know.
They asked his address. “I don’t know”, he says!
How am I supposed to look credible when my husband doesn’t know where the hell he lives!!??”
Classic dad answer.
“I come home every night don’t I!”
Wish me luck.