Monday, October 17, 2005


My aunt is currently dying from liver cancer. It's doubtful she'll last the week. She was diagnosed with it two weeks ago. The woman is swollen and yellow, as if someone colored her entire body with a highlighter. She's completely dehydrated. Her lips are rotting right off her mouth.

I'm emotionally fine. Of course I'm upset, but it's more for my dad and the perpetually crying Poppy.

But what really bugs me more than anything is the somberness sinking throughout the family. She refuses to go to a hospital so she's just at home, laying in bed, with her network of extended family and friends milling around the house clutching rosaries.

I had to go there today. They actually called a priest to read her the last rites. The entire situation was extremely Catholic. People are gasping at the sight of her and crying and talking about dreams that they had where she was drinking coffee with God at her kitchen table along with other deceased family members, but when the dreamer attempted to join them she looked up and set, "you can't sit here yet" and ridiculous Lifetime movie crap like that.

I don't mean to be heartless. I never got along with the woman, personally. She was my Godmother, which meant that she was familially obligated to purchase presents for me. All she ever got me for Christmas were those creepy ass Precious Moments statues and sweaters that were too small for me (which she did on purpose, as an incentive for me to lose weight. I'm not trying to look into the situation either--she would honestly say, "Honey, this'll motivate you to slim down. Now you have something nice to wear when you lose weight." Which of course made me want to get even fatter, just because fuck that, right?)

But she is family. She was not bad person in general, but she was particularly nasty to me.

All I could think was, why can't these people smile about this? Not because her death will be comical or positive in any way, but I'm just not good with empathy. I talked about this with my sister. We agree that if one of us was puffy and yellow and dying of liver cancer, we would probably laugh. And I would say something along the lines of, "Dude, Katsisch, you're saffron." And she would struggle to choke out something like, "I hate you" or "you bitch" and then we would laugh, and probably cry, but whatever. At least we'll have fun.

And then Katsisch said the most ingenius quote I have ever heard, which is my new official motto of life.

"Brevity and ridicule are the panaceas of our lives."

Which basically sums up everything I stand for in a very succinct - brief - manner.

We then decided we were probably going to Hell if there is one, and that our favorite foods would constantly be three feet out of reach, and the only thing on TV would be Dr. Phil, and every single time we tried to listen to a CD it would be scratched, and our cell phones would constantly be out of bars, and we'd be able to hear our dog barking but we would never be able to find him, and we would have to be inside all the time with no windows, and everyone we talked to would be a gun-toting republican, and we would be ignored by the people we wanted attention from the most. And that, I have determined, would be my experience in the Inferno.

Oddly, this conversation with my sister echoed a conversation I had with Schmee on Saturday while we were driving on 88, which coincidentally was paved in Hell and is currently lined with Hellish orange cones and Hellion construction workers for about thirty miles. I came very close to aiming my car at them just out of sheer spite, $10,000 fine be damned. To Hell.

I really have nothing more to say.

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