Drinking my third cup of coffee, it’s almost ten, dishes are done, dogs fed, the rabbit has already had his way with my arm while I filled his rabbit chow bowl to the brim, newspaper is ready and waiting, coffee made, porridge all a go…Griff hasn’t made his first appearance yet.
Houston we have a problem…
I keep watching the clock, telling myself five minutes, in five minutes if I don’t see him or hear him I will knock on the door, and check. Crap. I don’t want to do this….shit.
The mommie mind, when ever there is a delay, it is always the worst case scenario.
Tardy teens draw no anger from me, at least not at first as I have already buried them and visited the gravesite, they are greeted instead with rapturous hugs and tears, quickly followed by,
“If you don’t call next time you are going to be even 30 seconds late you had better really be dead or I will kill you…”
The Mommie Mind herculean in its non sequitur leaps and jumps through an alternate reality.
A late husband, and I am an already a widow looking for the Sheriff to come a knocking with his notification of the horrible car accident…delays of any sort have me checking the life insurance for payout policy…I am mommie feel me worry.
Tick… tock…. the designated five minutes has past.
I know Griff is dead for sure as I stand and start the long walk from the kitchen to his room. I imagine the phone call I will have to make…
” Well officer, he usually did get up earlier than 5pm … but I was afraid to check you see….I didn’t want to open the door….can I use an Amex for posting my bail? …
” Sorry, everyone …I went to check on him and he wasn’t moving”
…shitcrapfuck .. crap.. crap.. crap.. each slap of a bare foot on tile amplifies my heart beat … Where are we going to put all the relatives when they come for the funeral? We don’t have anymore space to spare, maybe the New Holiday Inn up the road ? It will have to do, will they be insulted, maybe just the older relatives can bunk in here….
The door opens, “morning…” Griff offers as he shuts the door and shuffles toward me.
Whew! Houston we have lift off!
“Hey Griffy I am going to do you laundry today..is it all in the hamper?”
“You have already done it.”
No..? just to myself…
“I’ve just hung it all up,” he says.
Later when he is outside in the garden, I enter his room, the dirty hamper empty, and the obviously dirty clothes worn while working in the yard are there, all hung up in the closet. I open the drawers, yup, dirty too, back in the drawers. I’ll spare you dear reader the description of Griff’s dirty underwear. I open the curtains, the windows, air it all out…then I put all the dirty stuff back in the hamper, poke my head out the door, all clear, he is still outside. I make a mad dash for the laundry room and start his laundry hopefully it will be done before he either forgets or remembers he hung up all the dirties. I can’t keep it all straight.
I sit down watching him out the kitchen window.
He is watering the pool.
I can see him hose in hand, rain wand extender attached to hose, watering back and forth back and forth, sprinkling the surface of the pool all while seated in a patio chair…mindlessly …I think of my children, running through a sprinkler on a hot day, the fresh laughing faces discovering cool water, I wonder what he thinks he is doing.
He is actually watering the pool. I ponder the consequences of my inaction…
Ever mindful of my words and thoughts and deeds, my plan of action when it comes to Griff has been slowly evolving over the past few weeks into a single mindset, a single question I ask myself before interjecting, interrupting, or stopping his course of action…what is the harm?
So whats the harm… Ok… other than our water bill will be huge, and I will have guilt about said water usage what is the harm?
I evaluate the consequences of his actions decide that he can water the pool all he wants to, go ahead knock yourself out…a smile builds in my mouth, I am anticipating the conversation that will happen when the water bill arrives, watch him for a few minutes through the window, it’s not long before he gets up turns off the water, and comes over to sit next to the back door.
He is outside on the patio, sitting down in a chair, which is not normal.
There are only two normal Griff positions outside of the standard sitting while watching tv position.
It is either, a. upright but stooped over shuffling….or b. squatting down, hands upon the ground as he is dizzy has had major vertigo and low blood pressure to the point that he has just almost passed out.
I am on safari now, watching from my blind in the kitchen, absorbed in this totally new behavior…
“He is taking off his shoe,” its Sir David Attenborough…he is my field guide on this mental adventure…. “he has left the left shoe on, fantastic…”
ok Sir David you keep a look out and keep up the narration while I get some fresh coffee.
“His sock is now off too, he is trying to raise his foot, as if examining it somehow….looking for something…”
dittle dittle dumpling my son john…went to bed with his breeches on….one shoe off and one shoe on
No breeches on with Griff as he has explained numerous times, he sleeps in the buff, or whitey-tighties only… pj’s bind him…Nightly I lay on one side of the wall listening to him on the other rolling over in his bed, I need my iPod just to erase the naked old man images from my twisted mind…you were saying Sir David?
“He has one shoe off, and he seems to be looking at his foot, now he has some sort of tool in his hand….”
Crap. My mommy mind races ahead… is it stitches he needs? he has cut himself? …… my imagination takes flight… he has gangrene and needs an amputation.. or worse he has stood on a rusty nail, God only knows when was his last tetanus shot was….thats all I need is for him to come down with a case of lock-jaw…on second thought that might be easier than feigning interest in the same story he tells every single day about the beauty of his garden in England totally being dependant upon placing the grass clippings under the rose bushes….
“Griff what are you doing?”
“My foot hurt, so I took off my shoe, and now I am clipping my toenails….”
I have to look, I don’t wanna…but I gotta…mommie mind races.
The blood wasn’t the worst part, it was actually the severity of the sharp edges clipped into a sharp v shape, and the unusual greenish-yellow white hue of his nails that really scared the crap out of me. I had been around Griff for more than three months, but never seen his naked feet, it’s the small things one learns to appreciate.
” How long have your toes been like that?”
” Just a few days”
Liar liar pants on fire…I am not touching them..no way Jose.
“Lets get your shoe back on, we are going to the e-care ” is what I said, what I thought was, wholly shit how did you get nail clippers… and you have Parkinson’s and can’t see …whatthefuck are you doing trying to clip your own toes!
It was a toe fungus, no meds too dangerous causes liver failure says the Doc. Get thee to a podiatrist he will need them filed and taken care of the suggestion.
” I can clip my own toe nails“
” Obviously you can’t Griff….did Hilda clip your nails for you?”
I hang my head, kicking myself for not thinking about it sooner.
Mommie Mind races ahead, and I know two things with absolute certainty.
The first is, from now on I am wearing flip-flops in my shower….
The second is, its pay back time for the lady who always asks me if I want my moustache waxed every time I get a pedicure….she is going to get a new chatty elderly male customer, cause this chic is not going down.