Saturday, February 18, 2006

Back in Puddletown

I've been back in my hometown for almost four days now. It's so beautiful here, I hardly know why I live in Los Angeles.

It's also freezing cold. The Koi pond in the back is frozen over, and there is a persistent east wind that is bracing, to say the least. More like face-slappin'. The sky is a color only seen in LA after a day long torrent. Clean, bright, beautiful.

Things are a little bit foggy on the homefront. Mom's spirits are good, but she is heavily sedated with pain medication. I am her chauffeur and personal assistant. We've been to the hospital twice, so far. The first day (her second operation), was five hours while they put a balloon in her breast where the tumor was. Therein the radioactive pebbles go, twice a day, each day next week. I told her she should get two, then we could blow them up to whatever size, depending on the occasion. Thank God she has a sense of humor about all this.

I have to keep reminding myself that the medication is reinforcing her usual forgetfulness, and maybe even her already impaired hearing. She doesn't really mean to ask me the same question over and over. Then there is the constant directing while I drive, as though I didn't spend most of my life here. Really, I remember how to get across town. Portland's just not that big.

Remind me to remind myself that these are incredibly small aggravations, and we all got off really easy. I'm not going to be taking care of a REALLY sick person for six weeks after all. Count your blessings. Probably what bothers me most is the dynamic between mom and my step-father. He's a really nice guy, but emotionally shut down. Depressive. My mother, on the other hand, is a supertyphoon of energy, opinion, and will. It's an interesting combination, and one that puts me square in the center (that's an odd phrase, innit?). I have no desire to play marriage counselor anymore.

My problem mostly is that I'm lonely. Lonely, and I was a bit over-tired after that 900+ drive up the west coast. Went mostly straight through. Slept for a few hours in the back seat of my car with my big black dog. Awoke to little chickadees hopping around outside in the parking lot of the rest area. Chickadees and a Steller's Jay. We were just north of Grants Pass. Grass Pants to my mother, who thinks that's HILARIOUS.

Back on the highway I saw an old drive-in theater, which was swarming with dairy cattle. Would have made a great photo. Knew I was back in Oregon then. And you have to love the little hippy establishments in the center of these mostly Bush country towns. Oregon's a blue state, but largely because of the cities.

Mostly I love how friendly everyone is. The guy pumping my gas in Roseburg (I forgot I couldn't do it myself until he walked out and asked me why I was suffering the cold), telling me about the reunion with his long lost childhood best friend. Seems the other man's son had pulled into the same service station and handed our attendant his credit card. Unusual last name, and the boy looked like his Pa. You can imagine the rest. This guy was beaming with excitement; it was lovely. He fishes with his old buddy now. They played ball together. Of course, they did.

Back to the lonely part - I encourage any comments, dear reader, that you want to leave me. Even if they are negative. It would be a help to keep me from that gnawing feeling I'm somehow slipping away. That means you too, Anonymous, even though I have a pretty good idea of who you are.


jt castleton said...

An ex-girlfriend works at a martini bar in portland...I'm going to try to find out where and then send you on your way. That way you won't be lonely. (just don't talk about me.)

Roy said...

It can actually get cold in Los Angeles? Jeez, maybe this whole global warming thing is really gonna happen afterall.

Hope your mom recovers well, the guy sounds like a weird combination but you know about opposites and the attracting and whatnot. I personally think there's something inherently wrong about the whole babyboomer generation, those guys are nuts.

And hey, lonely ain't all that bad. Once you realise how stupid everyone is, your own company doesnt seem all that bad.

Buck up!

srchngformystry said...

you are a strong soul, and i admire how you face this situation with courage and confidence. loneliness is a temporary condition. your mom is lucky to have you. la can and will wait.

Anonymous said...

I'm not really Anonymous! Just lazy. (If it were my credit card they were asking for, it wouldn't seem so tiresome to have to answer all those questions... mygod...) I feel lonely here without you. Even though I never see you. There's a hole in the canyon. I try not to yodel...