Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sin of the week, 7/6/08 - or 311

Last night about 7 o'clock, I heard a sound outside I had never heard before. I looked out the window and saw that in the playground below, someone had left a cocker spaniel - just put it into the fenced area, closed the door and left. The dog was crying so pitifully that it was drowning out the sound of season 3 episode 5 of the Sopranos, which I am sad to say I have recently started watching and even sadder to say that I can't stop watching because I am hopelessly addicted.

But we can talk about that later.

Someone abandoned a dog in the playground below my window. I considered going downstairs and bringing it water. Or some cat food, since I keep that around. But I didn't. Instead I called 311, New York City's idea of what to do if "there is no emergency - except that I am seriously annoyed and I complain about it."

You know what the "operator" said when I asked for the number to the ASPCA? She said the ASPCA is only open Monday through Friday from 9-5. Then she started giggling and said, "Why don't you just adopt the dog? He's a spaniel, right? Those are nice."

Tee hee hee.

I called my aunt this morning, who was in the Mexican restaurant across the street from the hospital. She has been spending about twelve hours a day at the hospital with my dad because my step mother had left Charlotte and gone back home of Friday and wouldn't be back until Monday. My dad, meantime, has stopped eating, has only been sleeping three hours a night, and only gets out of bed when the therapist makes him get out of bed. When I asked her whether it was time for me to come and say goodbye, she said "probably some time this week, but I won't know for sure until I talk to the doctor tomorrow. Of course, Erica will be back tomorrow and he usually perks up when she is around. I just can't tell yet. But I'll call you tomorrow."

I am not sure what the point of this post is except... I do.

I have been aware that my general life performance, sometimes measured in MELP, has been poor for some time. It's not like I haven't tried.

But I have definitely failed. My dad's illness and issues related to it have had the effect of total life paralysis. I have accomplished nothing in the last two years because everything I do or think of doing has a rider attached to it, the header of which is: "If dad dies this will go down like 'this' - but if he doesn't, it will go down in 'this' other way." This rider causes a total lack of focus - one that has the effect of wiping my hard drive of anything except the rider.

So I order all six seasons of the Sopranos and for hours on end, I watch people shoot each other because that is good and distracting and if I do enough of it, then sun goes down and then it rises again and I have accomplished nothing for yet another day - except that it's one more day knocked off the rest of my life that I am not really living while I wait for the whole fucking world to end.

Does anyone have a solution to this? It is not a rhetorical question, either. I need an answer. I've lost two years of my life doing nothing but reading the rider and doing... nothing.

(You're right - I could have adopted that cocker spaniel but I am not sure that's the right kind of something. Thanks for noticing that yet again, I did nothing).


Kate P said...

Being thinking of you and your dad, and praying.

I don't have much to offer in the way of advice; I get those moments where I think I haven't done anything, either. This quote popped into my head: "They also serve who only stand and wait." (Milton, "On His Blindness") Big virtual hug for you.

Kate P said...

That should say "Been" instead of "Being." Sorry.

nicoleantoinette said...

I absolutely love The Sopranos.

Yes, I know that wasn't the meat of the post but... still :)

Miss Britt said...

The only advice I can think of is "well then do something. Anything. Just do something... today."

But is that easier said than done?

Annie said...

First, what happened, did I miss a post about your dad? I will say prayers for you both. Second, I think doing nothing is just fine given your situation. Life is not all about doing or getting things done. You have been under much stress and I think anything you can do to relieve that stress is the right thing to do. My advice right now is, go be with your dad.
Big hug.

LAS said...

I'm really really sorry to hear about your dad.

Anonymous said...

Appropos of the Sin of the Week, I have attended mass thrice in the past seven days, which is a 346% increase from my attendance last year.

I will continue to keep your Dad and the entire brood in my thoughts and prayers as if they were my own.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the opposite camp, Nina. For the last two years I also did nothing because I had a rider about my mother. Well, once mom is either better or dead, then I'll do XYZ, etc.

Now mother is alive and well. And I have no idea what to do with that.

I have no words. Only that being still is okay, because that rider still exists for you. If you remain stagnant after the rider has no purpose...well, then we can worry.

Until then, watch the next episode.

P said...

Oh Nina. Distract yourself as much as possible, climb when you can, go home when you want to. I'll be thinking of you and your dad.

Dagny said...


LizB said...

Whoa. Big new development with your dad, one that I'm sorry to hear. Maybe this is a temporary depression; after all, he seemed like a pretty active man, and he's probably pissed about the whole "no-knee" situation. I have no suggestions for you, other than to say I loved every moment of the Sopranos while it lasted, so watch all the episodes. I will say this: sometimes, when I feel least like doing anything at all, that's when I make myself do SOMETHING. I tend to clean something random like a drawer or a closet.

P.S. Is the dog still there?

ricki said...

Thinking of you and your dad.

And don't be so hard on yourself. You are permitted to sort of lose your shit in situations like this.

I say so. (So it has to be true, right?)

nightfly said...

Sometimes, doing "nothing" is preferable to simply stopping and falling back day after day. I think you're a brave woman to fight your way up from negative eleventy-thousand all the time. Prayers for you and yours...

Maggie said...

Animal control, with those limited hours, is a joke. When I had a rabid squirrel in my apartment, I ended up calling 911 and the cops came and got it out. But that's different from an abandoned dog. I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

As for the torpor, the two years of stagnancy. . . Back in the midst of the Cancerpalooza - car accidents - pneumonia-fest, I had no idea when the shit was going to end either. I tried everything to keep my head up, stay useful and supportive for my family, and not mind that my own life was on hold.

Eventually it took a huge shake-up to get back on track, or some semblance of it. For me it was leaving New York. For you it might be Kili. But I do think that you have to do something. Lord knows you've got enough going on already, and it might seem impossible to do more. But right now your life is controlling you, and it will help to feel like you're making some of the decisions on your own.

I'm sorry, I'm not going to tell you that it's okay to just chill and lick your wounds. You've been doing that, and it's not helping; you don't feel any better. And eventually, for better or for worse, this dark time will be over. Then, like Jen said, you won't know what to do with yourself. Or you'll resent the time you feel was lost while you put yourself on hold.

If you take some action, you'll at least feel a little more in control. And it might also give you more strength to face all the many challenges you're tested with.

You've said it before -- you and your dad already know how you feel about each other. YOu ahve already been there for him through this illness, and you will continue to be. So visit him as often as you can, and then climb Kili. Don't put it off.

Em said...

I have a lot of catching up to do here... but I'm so sorry to read that your dad is in the hospital. Hang in there, Nina.

Sandy said...

Okay, first a little about me. Which is admittedly wrong on YOUR blog. But there you go:
In case you have not figured out, I am miserable at times at keeping in touch. I retreat into an inside my head world and I can't get out very often. This is not as alarming as it sounds but it DOES have something to do with being overwhelmed by life.
Now, about YOU.
I am praying, sending good thoughts up to the universe, and lighting candles for your father. I can vouch for how this all sucks. To be whirled into the hospital vortex leaves one with such a helpless feeling.
I know it doesn't help to say that we are going through some of the same things. But we are. And I'll be thinking of you and your father while I'm sitting with my father in law.
The hardest thing for you must be that you are not there. That is the worst. Depending on getting your (hopefully) reliable info from others sucks. Big. Time.
So, while you have been going through your misery, I was busy ignoring you. Sorry for that.
I guess you were like that puppy in the cage. But someone came to get him, right?