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 gonna...ummm...live 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.