Monday, April 27, 2009

The Adventures of Poppy and His Ridiculous Spawn: Part 1

Saturday afternoon, I had to visit Poppy with my Dad and sister. They've officially given him three to five weeks, and earlier that day my Dad and uncles went out and picked a cemetery plot. Nothing to cheer you up from pre-death cemetery trips like a nursing home.

"If he's just in there wearing a diaper, I'm walking right out the fucking door," Katsisch snaps as we step out of the elevator.

Dad laughs at her, and puts his arm around her shoulder. "He's not going to be wearing just a diaper. Well, no. He will be. And you're gonna like it."

"I hate it here. Old people smell funny."

"Like bad meat at Subway," I mutter and glance around the nursing home, where Poppy moved on Tuesday.

"He's probably just going to be watching the Cubs game," my dad changes the subject. "We aren't staying for long."

"An hour," Katsisch bargains. "Tops. You know we're only going to talk to each other. He doesn't give a crap."

"Of course he does." Dad is getting nervous and pissed. Probably because she's a little bit right, and he knows it.

I smack my sister's arm with the back of my hand, "Dude, just shut up and deal with it. The less you complain, the less awkward this is gonna be."

"You don't want to be here either," she hisses, "And no hitting."

"That's goddamn irrelevant."

"I give you permission to kill me if I live to be eighty five. I refuse to be diapered and gangrenous."

"Sister, I'm honored, but it might happen sooner 'cause I bought a gun like eight years ago and etched your name on a bullet now shut the hell up."

"Well, I'm murdering you back."

"No, because I'm forever."

"Both of you shut the hell up," Dad whispered, pointing at Poppy's name on the door to our left.

"Hi, Poppy!" Katsisch cheers all falsely as she turns into the room, with that forced volume that so many people reserve for the elderly. I watch her hand snap to her mouth as she pivots towards the wall, shaking with giggles.

"Hey there, Domer," Poppy smiles and tries to pull up his bedsheet. Probably so he can cover up the fact that he's totally just laying there in his fucking diaper, with his pruny, saggy legs all splayed out and a half buttoned flannel shirt, exposing a pale, wrinkled belly. His foot is bandaged. Damn. I really wanted to see that gangrene.

Calmer, Katsisch and I say hello, settle in, and watch the Cubs game, while Poppy pulls his sheet up, kicks it off, rolls it in a ball, unrolls the ball...constant fidgeting. I know, it's common, and there's a medical reason for it that I don't give a shit about.

We try conversation, but it's just a half hour of old man sighs and one-word answers. Want to sit up on your bed? How's the Cubs game? What's the score? Man, that Milton Bradley is a bitch, huh?

Poppy's having none of it.



The Ambiguous Blob said...

Why doesn't he have clothes on?

Gwen said...

I'm not going to say, "I hate nursing homes." Because, really, who loves them? But there's something worse than visiting a nursing home and that's living in one, I'm sure. Poor Poppy. Poor Rassles. You are such a sweetheart to go visit him in such a dismal place. Dealing with end of life issues is just so draining and unsettling. It sounds like your family is able to find the funny in those dark places, which is always good.

Anonymous said...

my dad wanted to pick out his own plot at the cemetery. and after the manager left? he got out of the car and did a little dance on it! said "it can't be any worse luck than i've got now"... and we giggled....

it's what you make it... sounds like poppy isn't up for dancing with the bad foot and all...

~Mountain Lover~ said...


I'm glad I could take my grampa away from the Nursing Home and not have to spend so much time in there. :(

Red said...

Given the story you told recently about life as Poppy's granddaughter, he's damn lucky you showed up.

American in Sydney said...

You couldn't possibly live forever-- only the meanest meanest bobeanest people live that long... they outlive everyone-- my mom and I were just having that conversation last night.

Mia Watts said...

Last time I was at a nursing home, Great Uncle threw things at me and cussed like a horny buzzard.

Entertaining but fucking dangerous.

Mongolian Girl said...

Ugh, nursing homes. I'm glad you went Rass. If I was in one I would want you to visit, say all of your bad and terrible things, and tell me all about living forever.

Anonymous said...

You could send him over to the Gimcrack. guaranteed fun in one's final days. I'll even nurse him in a corset if it helps.....

A Free Man said...

"Like bad Subway meat..."

You're fucking beautiful. But is there good Subway meat?

Del-V said...

I don’t think you really wanted to see (or smell) a gangrenous foot.

Le Meems said...

bullet etched with sisters name, eh?


Rassles said...

Ambiblob: He felt they were unnecessary, of course. A man like Poppy does not need the burden of clothes, no matter how rotten his limbs are.

Gwen: Honestly, if I didn't have such a high respect for my dad and his feelings, I don't think I would have gone. But thanks.

Daisy: That. Is. Awesome.

Mount: On the bright side, I don't think Poppy will have to be there long. That doesn't make it any less sucky.

Red: True words.

Flora: I am going to live forever just out of spite, now.

Mia: I hope it wasn't horrible smelly pointy things, like bags of urine and syringes.

Mongo: I'm glad I went too. And if you're ever in a nursing home? I would probably visit you.

Nurse: Poppy in a corset? Now that is something I would fucking love to see.

Freeman: Touche.

Del-V: Smell it, no. See it? Are you kidding me? I obsessively google-imaged that shit for a week. I feel like he owes it to me to show me his massive failure of a foot.

Meems: In my pocket right now.

Gypsy said...

I always think of the mean ass aunt in Fried Green Tomatoes. When they get that old and crotchety, what can you do? Especially if they were jackasses when they were younger, too.

Rassles said...

Gypsy: The oddest part about all of this, is despite the fact that he's such a dick, I defend him. It's okay, that's just how he is, it's a generation thing...which I shouldn't do, because really? There's no excuse.