Tuesday, September 11, 2007

THe End of Men: Poker II

Yesterday, when I visited Dad at the hospital, five or six months after that last post was written, he told me, "I cry alot. I go into this altered state where I am so deeply immersed in a memory, something from my past, something with one of you girls or your mother or some friends. I can feel every detail--it's all so real it';s like Im really there. And then, I wake up and the reality of what is going on with me, my body, where Im living, being so isolated, no one visiting, is so overwhelming..."

He continued, tears filling his eyes and his facial twists betraying every emotion he was trying to disguise as his memory leapt around, collecting images and rejecting them. " I'm not going to play poker this friday night and I'm not going out for bagels and the Sunday Times and Im not going to work at Camp Edalia this summer and I'm not going to swim in the ocean with Beth or build sand castles in Nantucket with Jenny. Im not going to Parkwood to watch you swim and Im not going to act in any plays any more and Im not going to ... " are here he choked up... "do anything with your mother."

"I know it wasnt a good marriage at the end, it wasn't a real marriage. But at the beginning, we were good friends." And now Im crying, too, and holding his hand, the hand with the IV needle taped to it, the hand that still works... the hand that he uses to pull the other hand, limp and lifeless, up and onto his belly to rest, patting it gently as one might a kitten or tiny baby.

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