Monday, 15 December 2008

Went to see my folks over the weekend for the first time in ages. They're both getting worse. He was standing at the window that looks out onto the back garden staring at the pond he built himself over a period of months. He was drinking his weekend gin and tonic and watching the rain pimple the surface of his pond and all the big goldfish darting here and there in fright of the rain.
She was sitting in her rocking chair writing her own obituary to be used in the paper on the occasion of her death.
"Very morbid," said my father. After a couple more very silent minutes underscored only with the heavy strong rain hitting he flung his head back and looked ceilingward exclaiming "oh Jesus help me."
She tells me on the telephone that he's starting to lose his mind.
"How so," I ask.
"He put his shoes in the freezer the other night in a bid to convince himself he'd Alzimer's. And he's taken to starting that auld 'Oh Jesus Help Me' routine. I think its comical he's trying to convince himself he's Alzimer's. It's sort of like a cod trying to convince itself its a fisherman.
He talks about her as well. He takes me out for a drive and lets me in on a secret that he's been seeing a woman they both knew years ago before mother fell out with her. On a purely platonic level he reiterates every couple of minutes.
"I can't talk with your mother," he tells me. "Not anymore," he says. He says she's become obsessed with death and believes her car is haunted.
"Her car?" I ask.
"Her car," he says. "Oh Jesus in heaven will you help me?" He says clicking his head back again.
"Keep your eyes on the road," I insist.

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