Monday the 9th…: Rick was at work when I woke up and made myself a cup of coffee. I was outside smoking a cigarette when he called. Since his wife was still away in Friendswood, we decided that I would delay my departure until he came home for lunch to set the alarm.
I packed up, watched TV, drank coffee and smoked cigarettes until he arrived and then dropped by Specs to shop for scotch and cigars to share with my oldest friend David Petersen. He and I had reservations at a Best Western in San Antonio for the weekend of March 20th -22nd and since I drank half a fifth of his premium Dewer’s during our last meet up in Dallas, I insisted on buying the scotch and smokes. I was in the market for a fifth of Johnny Walker Blue Label when I ran across a bottle of Stronachie 18 year old single malt on sale for half the price.
Since it was a single malt that I’d never tasted, I decided to take the risk and left Spec’s with ten cigars and a bottle of mysterious scotch for just a bit over $200. Heading west on I-10 I turned northwest on Highway 71 and drove toward Bastrop. About ten miles from my motel I ran into a major league frog strangler.
Traffic slowed to 50 mph but by the time I drove into the driveway of the Days Inn the rain had faded into a soft sprinkle. I checked in, walked over to the Chevon gas station, bought a six pack of Shiner and some cigarettes and settled into room 122 to decompress for a few days before I engaged my brother Bill.
As I unpacked my laptop, I realized that I’d lefty my AC power supply at Brother Rick’s house… nothing that fifty dollars and a quick trip to Best Buy couldn’t resolve. After that Mickey Mouse hassle, I signed onto the motel server and found an email from my client in Ontario, CA. After an exchange I gave them what they needed to deal with their customer and then I published my “Today” post about the shut down Nothing-here-Open-Salon-has-Come-to-an-End? I spent the afternoon commenting on Our Salon posts and answering emails from my client, and then I bought a couple of chicken breasts, watched some movie on HBO and crashed.
…Tuesday and Wednesday:
Decompression takes time and for the next couple of days I mostly holed up in my motel room and surfed the world wide web. I published 1974: The Red Lion, Clay Court, Senator John Tower & Bribery as part of my “Memories” and worked on more posts off line. I made a call to Bill’s landlady and prepared myself for the inevitable. It’s hard to describe the challenge of dealing with anyone with advanced dementia / Alzheimer’s.
After fifteen years of dealing with my parents, you’d think I’d have figured it out; but despite any intellectual awareness of how the behaviors are manifested, there is an emotional impulse to avoid them and the person who suffers from them.
The fact that I have a one in four chance of missing the double barreled probability that’s coming down both strands of my DNA doesn’t change the situation; and when I’m dealing with my older brother Bill, I can’t evade the real fear that I’m looking at my future. As much as I try to understand his debility and draw deeply on my patience, I can only manage a few hours and nonetheless resent the disease that has taken him away with every passing day.
On Wednesday morning I made the first call to Bill and told him that I’d drop by on Thursday morning to take him out for breakfast. As usual, he covered the fact that he was complete unaware of whom I am or why I called. “Of whom,” as grammatically correct as it might be, it reads so strange and sounds stilted. “Of whom am I?” – Certainly a question it takes a lifetime to answer. I keep phone conversations short and hope for the best when I show up on Bill’s doorstep.
Except for attributed photos and text, all content is copyrighted © 2015 JKM (an apparently ineffectual boilerplate joke?)