i am here.

by dorarandom

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yes, i am here. o imaginary reader! two weeks ago my cat figment suddenly became ill. very ill. he had a urethral blockage and a tear—which is not uncommon in male cats, i learned—the repairs are supposed to be almost routine—but figment was uncommonly difficult to repair—so i spent a week getting frightening phone calls from veterinary surgeons and crying my eyes out and blaming myself for strange things. i thought figment was going to die. and on some level i hoped that he would die so i could stop getting frightening phone calls. i got very tense and weird and didn’t feel like it was right to communicate that to anyone, even imaginary people.

in the middle of the same week i learned that my father is dying. advanced cirrhosis—with “delirium.” (hepatic encephalopathy—which i read about for about six hours straight online—from time to time thinking about my family’s ghoulishness and love of clinical detail and giggling ghoulishly to myself—particularly about my brother and sister-in-law and i all mocking my father’s wife for spelling “delirium” like “dilleria”—as if everybody sat around conversing about delirium all day long—i mean, how could one possibly be unfamiliar with the term or its spelling…) for my father, it’s a “sad end” as my brother says but it’s not shocking. i’m not clear what the time frame is—-a few months, it seems like—-his wife won’t use the word ‘dying’ yet. i guess. for a few days she was frantic to talk to me and my brothers and full of confusing description—and i talked to her at length, and wondered whether i could or ought to go to florida—but now she’s gone absolutely silent. which is disturbing but may or may not indicate anything. i’ve been calling and leaving messages. and today i checked the st. augustine obituaries—having convinced myself that my father’s wife isn’t going to tell anyone when my father dies. a stupid little thing to do, but of course one wants to do something—one wants some kind of information—one wants to believe that one’s father isn’t married to someone who’s completely out of touch with reality—but all these things probably go without saying.

i feel like i’ve devoted a lot of time over the years to saying things that go without saying. and explaining things that need no explanation. (i am suddenly remembering an occasion when i tried to convince my professor-supervisors that it didn’t make any sense for me to be a TA for a class that only had one student. i couldn’t take the irrationality of the teachers outnumbering the students. and so i couldn’t shut up about it. though it occurred to me that there was a wisdom in shutting up.) but of course i was right—there shouldn’t be more teachers than students in a class. and it’s natural to have emotions and to want to take some kind of pertinent action when you find out that your father is dying.

i thank God that figment is not dying at all. he recovered well from his surgery—better than “they” thought he would—and he’s been home for a week now, frisking around with the big plastic cone on his head. we’ve still got a longish tedious convalescence to get through but i know that the time will pass until it’s over. as time does.

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