I will tell you, at the moment, that I’m very grateful for the services of assisted living. With all this sudden GI business happening to me, it’s comforting to have someone to come to attend me, when all I need is for someone to come on in and do the embarrassing things I need at that moment, not having a mother to care for my modesty any longer. It’s been a chore to find someone to take care of me.
I was treated with kindness and respect, the way any true lady would. She’s gentle and elegant, in the finest tradition of the performance of a service. I’ve noticed she always has a considerable deference for me, not that I deserve any undue share. I’m reminded of being a street junky in Baltimore City. To compare where I’ve been and what I’ve done, makes me wonder how I ever got here?
Knowing I’ve always been bashful, Mom would treat me as though she understood. She probably did. I’ve always been the one to be shy during a bout with an upper and lower GI. I never wanted anyone to see me then. Mother always knew. She knew the way mother’s knew. There’s an old story in my life, about my first love, about how I knew I’d never see her again. Mother knew before I ever told her.
I miss Mother in so many ways. I’ve imagine we’ve talked on the phone, when it’s gotten to be an illusion or a dream. I missed the back roads of Maryland, where I used to go driving to see Mother. There were always various roads I’d gleefully meander about, confident that I would arrive at Mother’s, and confident that she’d always be there. Of course, there came a time she was not there.
Me and my unending cigarettes. The last bastion of my addictions was at hand. After the alcoholism and the drug addictions, it was just one more thing to have to subjugate to my own wishes. I’d done all those damaging things to my body, and gave them all up, mostly long before she passed. I’d like her to know I managed to give the cigarettes up too, but then, I think she knows.
There were the cultivated bean fields, and the cultivated shoe peg corn fields growing all over, everywhere you look. Once in a while, one would find a farmer’s market by the side of the road, where one could buy the most glorious, fresh produce for a reasonable price. I would buy some shoe peg corn, and some peaches, and proceed the whole way over to Mother and Aunty’s place.
When I still had teeth, Mother and I would dine on a couple of steaming hot ears of shoe peg corn, like we were kings and queens. Another thing we’d do when I still had teeth, was to go up the street to the pizza parlor and get pizza. We’d sit and wait for our food, while Mother would give me the most radiant smiles that she would regularly embarrass me. I think it was only a matter of Motherly love.
We could get glorious, fresh peaches, with all the fuzz still on them. Aunt Vi, peering knife in hand, would help herself to the fruit of the harvest. Mom would never eat the peaches, for some strange reason. Aunt Vi would not eat corn under any circumstances. She’d have a fresh peach or two. I’d eat a peach in my car, at the farmer’s market, with my pocket knife cutting the peach down till it was gone.
There was always the fresh, shoe pet corn, by early summer, in rural, central Maryland. Mother always had the time of her life, bringing the water to a boil, timing it just so. There used to be a corn cannery where I’d get hired, saving my money, to have enough of a resource to feed myself on campus way down in the mountains of North Caroline, those couple of times I actually got a little money saved up.
There was a girl who taught me how to broker food stamps in the lobbies of the girl’s dorms. I would convert all kinds of cash from the corn cannery, and cut my prices, making a killing on the retail value of the food stamps. That girl and I would eat like royalty the whole way through the school year. Later, I could never figure out why I smoked reefer, and never had any money.
I did a brain drain, once I got to blazing up on that reefer. It was my seconded year at the university. There been so many reefer smokers who did a lot of talking about how reefer was only psychologically addictive, as if it were alright to smoke it if they said so. It was alright for them to sell it. They were lining their pockets with the Yankee money. That’s what they were after in the first place.
What goes around, comes around. I guess brokering food stamps didn’t help me get along, when the truth be told. It gave me bad karma. Pretty soon, I couldn’t find a job, or hold one down if I got one. My income hit the skids. All that trouble turned out to be my schizo-affective disorder, causing me to starve, because of this and that, when one figures in the drug abuse next to the Soc Sec income.
There were 16 ounces of the most kick ass-ed reefer, for sale at $15 for a five finger lid. I felt like a kid in a candy store. That was more reefer than I’d ever seen in my lifetime. I mostly looked, until the heavy dealing went down. I had every confidence in that reefer, for setting anybody up with the most intense buzz without half trying. I gave all that up, too, and Mother knew it before she passed.
I’d take Mother for scenic cruises in my car. I’d tease her with songs I knew, which the road signs along the highway used to remind me of. There were two, old-time log cabins, in old Howard Co, and the old-time manor house, way down the bottom of the road, in those hidden, out of the way places. It made me feel so good that I actually knew the exact location of all of three of these houses.
I’ve been trying to piece together a local road map, since I’ve been down here in the Hampton Roads Area. It’s not so tough to do, working into a couple of local boulevards, and a couple of local streets, believing Mother’s inside the car with me, giving me feedback on the way I’m working the roads. It’s a Spiritual connection I’ve got with Mother, to do this and that, to help me, basically.
I can remember driving my car. It’s something impossible now. Going down that same old country road in my mind, trying to remember every rock and tree along with way, with both sides of the road registering in my memory at once, which is almost an impossibility. Trying so hard to remember it all, because I realize that the road as I know it, will be gone twice as fast as it takes to drive it.
Then there will be all my skeletal issues surfacing right and left, if it ever comes to the driver’s test. It’s doubtful that my Trustee would ever finance a car, or any of the incidentals, to make the car roadworthy. Without all of the false assumptions that I’d have to lie to my Trustee about before I ever drove the thing out onto the road. Besides, I think it would be difficult to lie to my Trustee.
My knee doesn’t feel right, and neither does my shoulder. I hurt my knee when I broke my hip three years ago. They had to take me to Howard Co General twice before they ever knew where the fracture was. That hip injury was bad. They put a metal prosthesis in my hip before I could walk. They never put anything in my knee. It took me quite awhile after that, to realize I suffered another injury.
I’ve had two falls since, which dislocated my collarbone and aggravated my repaired hip. All that being said, I don’t think any of it is so bad I’d need another bone repair operation, which happens to be the sort of relief I can to do without, altogether. Trouble is, I’m not certain I can contact my bone man for any reason at all. I’m not certain I have his contact info anymore. I forget his name, too
In regards to my GI problem, they’ve brought me a whole bowl of the most delicious chicken soup, and quite a few saltines. It’s like a meal fit for a king, as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t have to warm it up for myself, nor was I expected to carry it to my room. I have no confidence in being able to contain myself, and will restrict myself from the dining room until I’m of a different opinion.
The only thing that’s not torn up yet, about the dominant side of my skeletal structure, is my ankle and my foot. My muscular structure is OK, except for my dislocated collarbone, which is just about as much an impediment as are my overall, broken skeletal structure in my hip and my shoulder. The one thing I can’t do now, is drive an automobile, to get myself from point A to point B unaided.