Part One of The Death Strand | Party

So, it was Pip’s birthday treat yesterday (8!), we took eight of her little chums to the Komedia to see Strawberry the Clown, very neat hour-long show, plenty of participation including a couple of her mates and her on stage for participation antics. Very good, no trauma. Afterwards, to Pinocchio’s Restaurant for an excellent Salad Nicoise.

Later, L and I saw Polanski’s “The Pianist” taped from TV, synchronicity as I have just finished “Everything Is Illuminated” and L “The History Of Love” (she has started in on it again – it was a big thumbs up). These all kind of tie in and I’m almost feeling robust enough on this to embark on “Schindler’s List” which we have on DVD and have never had the moral fibre to re-embark on (we saw it at the cinema, which was a draining experience).

Speaking of draining experiences, as my father fell into collapse and flew away just before christmas, I was moved to write down dribblings related thereto – part one here, more to follow tacked onto more ordinary stuff as we go cartwheeling headlong into February.

SUNDAY 18th DEC 2005 my father taken into hospital unconscious. At around 2pm he had started shaking uncontrollably and not responding, his eyes rolling back; he had been vomiting for a wekk and was very weak, this day had been worse than that. An ambulance was called and took him to Eastbourne Hospital, comatose – he has a major leak in his heart plumbing well not the heart more the blood vessel on the way out. This has led to a stroke / oxygen starvation to the brain / probable brain damage. His existing liver condition, renders the bleeding problem inoperable, and so the surgical team have declred him “DO NOT RESCUSCITATE” with palliative care only – so there he is, breathing deeply on hospital oxygen, his eyes rolled back into his head, occasionally coughing and articulating a groan; occasionally “spasming” one leg upwards (a movement so painfully deja-vu familiar to me from L’s coma) … he is monitored.

S- is distraught. I am (as usual in these sitations) the coldest of cold fish, emotionless – my relationship with my father was never good. He is (soon to be was) my father; did I love him? As a son, I guess not. As a person I bear him no ill will and my heart goes out to the animal laying there struggling for what? Life!What did he think of me? Who cares? Who can say? I think I gave him lots of opportunity to become reconciled, especially since P arrived (and certainly he loved her) – it seemed to me (seems to me) that it was always his choice to continue antagonising and remaining distant. I realise that it takes two. I also realise that in the last few years pain nd incipient deafness have made communication and a straightforward relationship even less easy than ever.

G*d knows how S- will cope – well, I guess she’ll have less “looking after” to do, but I mean the lack of company. Timing impeccable, as usual … just before Christmas … I won’t let this spoil P’s Xmas (or L’s or mine come to that). M&R are driving (!) here to S-‘s (as it must soon be known) tomorrow. Today I mean, as it is around 4am right now. Family resemblance of a dying father to a watching son becomes UNDENIABLE – you are watching yourself – your future snuffing out in hospital light glare and a haze of foul death smells – it’s a spooky feeling. Naturally, I will “get through this” the same as we all “get through” everything. It’s just another layer of sh*t to add on and deal with, isn’t it? He will die, his funeral will be held; next year will come; whatever, whatever, I feel that I have been jolted into an awareness of my mortality that I didn’t feel with B-‘s suicide (although, to be fair, being the mobid sod that I am, I can hardly be said to have been UNAWARE of mortality) – so, an early new year resolution (s easily broken it will be!) in the wake of catastrophe – eat less, eat better, exercise more; use my mind; love P; love L; smile; have more s*x; don’t wait for that to happen to us.

MONDAY 19th DECEMBER 2005 he is still alive, “no change” say the jolly doctors. L has cancelled my students. M&R are on their way from Devon. I am going there (to the house) later. L is taking care of P. I am numb. At the house, S- dropped the bombshell that my father and her are “massively in debt” (credit cards). They all went off to the hozzer. I came home and slept = zero overnight as a call came in the middle of the night to say that his breathing had deteriorated. Morning, P to school holiday club then me race to the hozzer; he is bad; consultant says “let nature take its course”. Yes, why not?

S- calls a chaplain, M&R go back to the house; my head aches/ more later.


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