“My mother is currently associating with some undesirables who are attempting to transform her into an athlete of sorts, depraved specimens of mankind who regularly bowl their way to oblivion.” ― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
Escaping the raucous onslaught of incoherent thought from the maddening crowd makes for a lonely life. After all, seeking the truth in all things isn’t for, well, most anyone these days. It’s just too messy.
It’s uncomfortable for most folks to know, anything, or so it seems. I’ve had the damnedest time getting those whom I’ve known for 40 or 50 years just to come to consider that the plants, vitamins and minerals that mother earth, God, or a committee of celestial earth mama’s and earth dudes graciously bestowed upon this plane of rock and dirt upon its introduction into the universe of all things bewildering, just might do them some good, as opposed to pharmaceutical concoctions made by companies for profit.
Most folks, in their latter years, just want to be left alone to indulge in whatever weakness in their make-up they have found that makes them feel slightly human, a bit joyous or just satisfied.
My father, upon acceptance to his first assisted living facility, along with the required chest-drawer full of cash needed to avail himself of their living quarters, always had to have an unexplainable amount of chocolates on hand.
An uncle of mine, upon making his way to the world of other gray hairs, had to have an endless supply of antacids within reach.
I’ve heard of others and their penchant for their favorite liquor, tobacco, cookies, even donuts be readily available to them upon becoming dependent of others to fulfill secret addictions of the not-so-healthy they’ve partaken of throughout their lives. Yes – our secrets always come out.
As I approach the confines of a secured senior living apartment the size of a closet, I’ve often thought I’ll be quite content as long as all classical music ever written is before me for my listening pleasure; a piano that I won’t be able to play is in the room that I can look on with both pleasure and pain; a bit of vodka on hand to drink from time to time and yes a good cigarette within reach when the chef at the assisted living facility has created a rather scrumptious meal that only a cigarette after the meal can fully satisfy. Yes, folks, having a cigarette after a damn fine meal is, in my mind, as millions of others before me can attest, no better way to end the meal. Think Paris, is you don’t believe me. Sadly, uptight and politically correct Americans can’t imagine such an affront to their delicate sensibilities. Of course, they think nothing of driving through the “fast food lane” or grocery store for a delicious meal of the latest and greatest chemicals ever created.
But the one thing I want is the truth. Now, how one (that “one” being my wife, or possibly one of my more compassionate children) will get me the truth will be a dilemma.
Do they spoon-feed dear old husband/dad a regular daily dose of all things that most don’t want to know about, or do they simply give me an internet connection and computer so that I can search for the truth on my own, in between blood pressure checks, assisted restroom visits, hollering for someone to settle down my screaming “neighbor” on the other side of the drywall, or the welcoming site of a nurse coming to take me down to the dining room for sustenance? Quite a conundrum for them.
On a good day, I figure I have 20 years or less before wife and children, who’d rather not be doing what they have to do, have to face such challenges. Are they up to the tasks I will set upon them, or would it be rather more expedient of me to keep cash on hand to bribe “the help” at the facility in getting the things I need? A rather difficult future problem to solve.
But silly me, 20 or less years is a long time. Will humanity be around then? Not sure about that one. Will the ever-so-happy Sir Henry, the editor-in-chief of this rag of website be around to assist…sadly, probably not – but he’ll join me in the next life, so not to worry too much.
If loved ones are reading this or actually listening to me on any given day…probably the best thing to do is to drop by for a visit once I’m settled into the gray hairs facility and just for the fun of it, tell me some tales…”all truth has been discovered – life is all a grand mystery never to be understood by humans – the earth is flat, we’ve never been outside the dome protecting it; dogs are the smartest and most loving of creatures ever created; sex isn’t what’s it’s cracked up to be, except for the time spent enjoying it; “Big Sur” is truly heaven on earth; a good drink and fine tobacco make the day acceptable; real food is the key to daily happiness and health; love and kindness trump everything; classical music is a gift from the gods in heaven; family, for better or worse are, in the end, all you’ve got; 99.9% of all politicians, CEO’s and other assorted pieces of scum are just that, scum; and that all of this and the rest of the grand mystery may or may not be fully explained to me when I take my permanent leave” – just to see which I believe and which I don’t.
By then, I probably won’t understand a word they’re telling me and will just smile and nod as I’m eating my donut.
Tonight’s musical offering:
Mozart, known to be a bit of a prankster – what better way to end this drivel of a post than with something playful yet genius from one of the heavenly gods of classical music!
Mozart ~ Symphony No. 39 in E Flat Major (K.543) ~ 3rd movement ~ Minuet ~ Trio
Wiener Philharmoniker/The Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Photo credit (front page): http://www.unsplash.com/@benwhitephotography
Photo credit: http://www.unsplash.com/@staticdesign
I’m not at all sure why we think it best “for their own good” to protect our advanced in age loved ones from their simple pleasures in life whatever they may be. By the time they find themselves in a place as you’ve described, by my thinking they’ve earned every smoke or cookie or pint as long as it doesn’t hurt another. Well written. 😊
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Indeed! thank you! 🙂
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