Commission Music

Commission Music
Bespoke Noise!!

Thursday, 10 October 2002

Waiting waiting waiting. The pamphlet that hospice gave us says that people often have a surge of energy a couple of days or a couple of hours before they die. Most people use the time to say goodbye. Yesturday may have been mom's surge of energy. She was kind of wakeful this morning, but then she got a bath and now is tired. waiting waiting. i wonder what she is waiting for. she's not in pain. there's no hurry. maybe she wants her son or her brother to show up first. but there's a limit on how long she can wait. My uncle has pledged to come "soon." My brother will come "later," probably "today," after I pushed him, saying there wasn't any later, or at least not very much. My dad has decided not to move mom. He didn't tell me that, he told the social worker. Group therapy with my father would be a lot of fun. Everytime the social worker asked me or christi how we felt about something, my dad would interrupt as soon as we started to answer. usually with some inccorect factual thingee. He doesn't like talking about feelings I guess. The social worker has the worst job ever. She was very graceful as my father lectured her on the dying process (he doesn't know what he's talking about) and the shortcomings of the medical field (still mostly clueless) and finally the mismanagement of the San Jose symphony (strangely not at all clueless, but definitely short on facts).

So we're waiting. I made muffins. I hope people come over because nobody wants to eat the muffins. A nun came today and a friend of my mom who decided that maybe it was time to finally come over a for a visit. yep. It's finally time. the nun was very nice. she brought roses and a relic of the founder of their order. I didn't ask what the relic was exactly, it didn't seem right. An elbow? An eyeball? It's a very small package. It's a little plastic vinyl folder, about the size of a breast cancer stamp when closed. It opens up to a portrait of the founder and a short prayer. Christi examined the contents of the folder and din't find any bits of bone or anything. I mentioned this to my dad and he said that a relic is anything the holy person touched. The I noticed that the portrait had "material placed in her coffin" printed below it. I thought catholics were more serious about relics. Soon this whole house and everything in it will be relics. soon. waiting waiting.

Christi and I slept on the couhc in the living room last night, next to the hospital bed. the couch is lumpy and short. My back hurts. My mom woke up at 3:00 am. I held her hand. We got her a blanket. I think somebody ought to be sitting next to her whenever she's awake. So right now it's christi's turn, but shen I give back the laptop, it'll be my turn. It won't be anyone else's turn, since everyone else is fleeing. Even the man who decided it was finally time for a visit barely touched her arm and then ran away. It's ok, I think she appreciates it anyway.

A couple days ago, I was listening to the soundtrack for Oh Brother, Where Art Thou and almost all the songs on it are about death. They're all period songs. Then people sang and talked about death and tried to pretend sex didn't exist. Now we sing and talk about sex and try to pretend death doesn't exist. Our culture can only handle one great mystery at a time, I guess. I was showing my mom pictures of chocolate from a book called Desserts to Die For not thinking maybe the title was inappropriate. I wouldn't have noticed it except that it was shelved next to the Weight Watchers cookbook. She's not thinking about food. She doesn't want water, she doesn't want food. She doesn't want to take her pills. The pharmacy is supposed to be delivering a suppository of her medication today. They were supposed to bring it two days ago, but they forgot. Maybe they'll forget it again. My dad is upset, he wants mom to drink. He wants her to want to drink. Her cathater line is bloody. Margie says that's normal for people when they die. She has hidden the line from view of my dad because she knows it will panic him. He's eating peanuts obsessively. He must have eaten ten pounds of peanuts on the last week. unsalted.

He's pacing. Mom's breathing steadily and looking around. Margie is resting from having to wake up every two hours to check on mom. She needs to be rolled from side to side, since a sore is developing. My eyes are red from crying. I need sunglasses or something. I need something. It's my turn to go hold mom's hand.

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