After a week of grey rain, gray clouds, grey people and gray dogs the weekend came with sunburst and starlight. Warm days, warm nights and people acting stupid drunk at 2am on the stoop next door on Saturday night.
With their annoying whiny loud voices discussing earth, movies and fake friends, the drunk and stupid woke me at 2am.
An engaging discussion it was not, so I turned on a Spotify’s white noise selection.
Ocean waves and hypnotic rain drops blended with annoying whiny loud voices and the not engaging discussion, pushed me over the edge. The edge of my bed that is.
The cops arrived on the scene and off the stoop went the whiny loud voices along with their not engaging discussion.
Good riddance, good night.
hanging with Sandy (Mr. Sandman) was not to be.
got up at 7am and ran 10 miles around Ppark. Afterwards came home, showered, dressed and dragged my reluctant Greyhound, Katie out the door.
Reluctance on her part because if she had it her way, she’d sleep for 14 hours instead of pounding the pavement! (Some bad habits must be broken)
Up the block, past Ppark, past Brooklyn Public Library, past the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to the Brooklyn Museum.
(Brooklyn surely in the house with this writing)
We sat, or rather I sat on the steps of the museum, as Katie refused to sit or lay down or just about follow any command coming from my mouth.
“Neighours…or sometimes it would be nice not to have any”.
On our return home I ran into a neighbour I have not seen in a long while sitting in a chair outside her home. She did not attend my mom’s prayer service. (Not good, so not good)
I listened to her wail over the loss of her own mother, how my mother loved me very much, how she should have come to visit my mom when she was at home, how her son treats her bad, how her daughter treats her bad, how she’s suffering from Dementia, how her hair fell out, how she’s not feeling well, how she’s glad my mom listened to her lawyer advice, how the world is against her…
But, at least she asked me how I was.
As Katie and I stood there listening to the never-ending misery of her life (wanting to trade this encounter in for the whiny drunks on the stoop at 2am) another neighbour joined the one-sided conversation. He was on his way to Target to buy a present for a co-worker. (He did attend my mom’s prayer service)
(Thank goodness, my escape excuse to get away from drama and go home).
Neighbour on the way to Target, walked down the block towards where I live, with Katie, and five cats.
Neighbour on the way to Target: “Well, you know my birthday was this month?”
Me: “Oh really when was it?”
Neighbour on the way to Target: “June 5”
Neighbour on the way to Target: “Well don’t bother taking me out to dinner as I’m all dinner out. **** and her husband****took me out to dinner on Wednesday, then I invited them to my student’s recital, and now I’m just dinnered out. Have to buy a gift for a co worker and don’t know what to get her. I’ll get her a vase. Gift certificate you say? No, that’s not a real gift. She’s an older woman and would appreciate a gift than a gift card. Now I don’t mind gift cards but other people really want a gift.”
And, he didn’t ask how I was.
Just another day in the neighbourhood…
with neighbours you wish you didn’t have.
*****This post is dedicated to quotation marks and I’d like to thank the ellipsis for being accommodating.
Marathon #2 sits on the horizon and, god willing…God Willing I’ll cross that line again.
Marathon #1 was an all-out disaster that almost didn’t happen due to my mom’s illness but did happen due to my mom’s illness and her unrelenting push for me to train.
I trained through, tears, stress, worry and crossed the line many times arguing with incompetent doctors who destroyed my mom’s will to live and her health
I finally crossed THAT LINE at the end of the marathon which my mom did not live to see.
-Actually, she did see, for she was on the corner of Sackett Street and Fourth Avenue, just not in this realm and as I woggled towards that street, I stopped, crossed myself and bowed for the Queen.
back to Marathon #2 in which training has not officially begun but I’ve started anyway because well, I have nothing better to do than pound my knees via my feet kissing asphalt, concrete and dirt trails.
Love the trails, love my feet, love my knees, hate the dirt.
And at least I’m not kissing someone’s ass
I’ll tie up the laces tomorrow, that are tied already, just need to slip on the sneaker.
-(I’ll set the garmin, set the interval timer, wear the running glasses that get dark in the sun, put on the Panache Bra, set up the Spotify, put on the lip balm, make the Nunn for the water bottle, separate Tara-Habby from the treacherous cat posse (worse than the Sharks but just like the Jets) out to dethrone the Queen ( not me this time) and ultimately sit on the throne (corner of my bed).)
Every morning I wake up with a broken heart and every night as I lay my head down on my mom’s pillow I try to keep the broken pieces from traveling far.
You are gone and it’s not even a question of accepting that reality but trying to adjust to a new reality that no longer includes you, my best friend and my mother.
October 7th, should have been a normal Sunday with you getting ready for church, asking me if I’d go and gathering your dollars for the plate collection.
on October 7th, I woke at 2:15am and did not hear your breath with the oxygen machine.
I got up…
turned on the light and saw the look of vacancy on your face even though your eyes were closed.
you were gone.
I felt your forehead which was warm to touch and my hand traveled to your back which was cold. I reached for my stethoscope and placed it on the honey coloured skin on top of your heart.
No sound, no breath, an empty shell void of the pulse of life it once contained.
At first, I was relieved.
The previous day, as I held your hand, I begged you to go, to let go of the body that so betrayed you. To let go of the organs slowly shutting down. To let go of the month of starvation your body endured. To let go of the dependency on the morphine I resented giving you for I knew each dose sent you further into oblivion and I so badly wanted to see you smile at me with eyes that saw me and not death.
It is almost six months since you’ve gone.
The morphine and the Percocet sit in my medicine cabinet.
Sundays are bad and I always hold the vials in my hand contemplating, while being angry at you for not taking me with you. Each Sunday that passes the urge to take them diminishes.
You so loved life and I’m trying so hard to learn to love and dwell in it as you often wished I would.
I have no choice, trudging through trying to find the new ‘normal’ while desperately holding on to what was, knowing the was, is in the past and no longer has a place in the present.
I so miss you mom, my butterfly and my best friend. You are at peace, flying through another dimension. I pray you will be there, when it’s my time, to welcome me into your world as you welcomed me into this world.
Tobias, Toba, Tub of lard, Mr. Tobes, Mr. T, Tobester, Tobadia, Mr Tobadia.
Toby, for me
YOU will always be…just Toby.
I want to write down the words that tell my feelings about
When I think of
USTED, I get all mamba jamba boogied up tight lip and my chest hurts, missing your bunny hopping days through Ppark.
The pain is so real and so there…as
TÚ is no longer here, and neither is Pi and I long to touch and smell
USTED as I do him.
Although, stink, Pi did, as did
YOU, and it did not matter because being all mine, all the time, unconditionally, lovingly far surpassed the dirty dog, musty stink after swimming at the doggy beach in Ppark brought into the house.
USTED passed into shadow on Monday evening, October 9, 2017, licking peanut butter from my finger as Propofol made its way through the vein that would eventually connect with other veins on a path to your heart-unstoppable as your personality and love was.
TÚ paused in the peanut butter licking, confused somewhat and before I could acknowledge what was taking place, the ER vet plunged Euthasol into that same vein, which stopped, and ended the pumping of your sweet heart that held mi alma intact and made me realize that yes,
YOU and your love were stoppable.
Pi took my heart…
TÚ my dear first fur baby, the oldest of the pack, took my soul (mi alma).
Beat on…run on…free at last from the arthritis, the crippling of the joints, the senioritis which left you at times confused looking for our house on return walks the sometimes incontinence, the sometimes-foggy vision, free at last, thank HIM almighty you are free.
Gracias me perrito que vivir en mi vida por catorce años.
Gracias for choosing me.
I want to say to
YOU all that wasn’t said while this earth was lucky to have your soul in its presence, it’s concrete jungle, pseudo Ppark in the woods landscape with me by your side. Gracias a
TÚ for finding and choosing me to spend time in your life. Pi was not part of
the package, pero
USTED accepted him or better yet, tolerated him on your own terms.
The residents at the now defunct Bishop Hulces nursing home would also join in this thanks to
YOU, the certified therapy dog who strutted through the dementia ward bringing the gift of words to those who would not normally speak.
USTED, my sweet baby boy would allow the locked words to flow in their gibberish, unstoppable, accepted and not challenged or corrected way.
I remember the young teenage girl who was placed in the nursing home due to her disability of severed legs sacrificed from her attempted suicide gone wrong pact with an MTA train. Mother and father were at her bedside during our visits and the tension and awkwardness were too real to ignore. They spoke no English and who knows what if they knew what to make of you grizzly Adams appearance.
YOU jumped on me, and unto her bed, snuggled up to a hip that no longer had an extension. She in turn was happy to pet your fur which brought forth a smile easing the tensions from the parents who now mirar a
USTED at what I perceived to be respect and admiration. The visits to her room always brought out the best in the soul that resided en
TÚ and el alma that took my own away.
Bereavement is not so acceptable when it comes to fur babies because for many they are insignificant, easily discarded as the wrapper on a wad of gum. Going into shadow is as irrelevant as swatting a mosquito of an arm.
But guess what…
For me not having
YOU, the job of life can be done but trust me, it will be half assed done, for your unconditional no judgement love does not await me when I return home and I’m left with no defense to put the day’s sucking vampires behind me.
I go to work, forced to converse in conversations when I’d rather be home licking my wounds and thinking of you. Grieving for your lil bro was much easier-I was unemployed.
To pick up your ashes, I must return to the place your last breath was drawn and I will bring
Which is where you are now, my sweet Toby boy.
** TÚ, USTED = You. Mirar=look. Gracias a tú=thanks to you. en= in. pero=but. Gracias me perrito que vivir en mi vida por catorce años=Thank you my doggy who lived in my life for 14 years.
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
Janis Joplin and her Mercedes Benz…
Of course, my pity me, pity bee self, let those lyrics set in my heart at a young age while I licked my “How many licks does it take to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop?”
Joplin was amazing.
A white chick who could wail like a black chick and gained kudos beyond the norm for being a white chick who could wail like a black chick. Meanwhile the black chicks who are the backup singers to the white musicians remain in the background, behind the lines of the white musicians who need their sound to cross barriers and bring in more buyers of their records.
Tina Turner was amazing as she wailed out in front while her backup singers remained in the back. The black chicks that is…
Back to asking for that Mercedes Benz…
The ONE and ONLY, THE LEADER OF US ALL, the one otherwise known as JEHOVAH, YAHWEH, ADONAI, GOD, THE ALMIGHTY…this stops here (Current thunder and lightning storm taking place and it is not wise to anger the ONE who controls the weather). Well he’s not giving me a Benz, nor am I asking for it. What I want, what I really want, and yes, I’m telling you, is a grand piano.
I’ve been teased by three grands over the years.
The first was a Bechstein, when the company was in NY, before the rents went up. It was a lower end model, selling for $8k. I let it go or rather it let me go, for when I decided yes it was the one, someone else bought it then mom, my mom, became sick…very sick.
The second was a Mason and Hamlin which sat in a church collecting dust in the corner. I begged, tried to borrow, could not steal- everyone. No loan, no piano. It was bought the next day and ended up on Craigslist a month later selling for $15k. Duh…
The third piano, and yes this is it. No more searching, do, did, done. Nunca más. The heart (mi corazón) cannot allow false hope (esperanza) to take hold only to dissipate into steam, traveling upwards towards the sky (el cielo) , out of reach, out of sight, out of mind.
This time, it was a 5 foot 7 Steinway grand, placed on Craigslist and discovered while scouring the job market ads. The address on the ad was located five blocks up from where I live. Yes, my neighbor who moved here twenty years ago before the gentri came, when it was cool and hip to live here, when the rents were under $2k…enough…is currently selling their 5 foot 7 Steinway grand for an unheard of price.
Bubble gum wraps!!!! (Not the words I prefer to use but profanity is such a cliché reaction-whatever)
No funds reserved in a savings account, in a 401k fund, in a money market, in an overseas bank account, in a CD, in a mattress or under it, in a silver plated box buried in the backyard, or in a sugar daddy’s pocket. My salary will not cover the cost of the piano, as the salary itself is a joke because I work with others who make way more than me for doing way less.
Borrowing the money to pay for the piano is akin to hitting lotto’s biggest jackpot. So close but yet so far or rather I pretend the wasted money I used to purchase the lotto ticket will bring me riches as I do not know a soul who would lend me the Benjamins, period.
Getting back to Janis with a twist:
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me, my neighbour’s Steinway?
My friends play Bosendorfer’s, I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime, switching careers back and forth
So Lord, won’t you buy me my neighbour’s Steinway?
Raised up in a Catholic school environment from first grade onward, I believed to forgive was to let go of the hurt inflicted from another. Forgiveness was akin to confession. You acknowledge the hurt, let it go and move on. The party who wronged you would be grateful for the forgiveness and be forever at the mercy of the one-you- who afforded them a respite akin to what HE almighty would have given them.
Bull to the s**t!
Forgiveness comes back…to bite the hand that you thought forgave ya.
I can rant and rave ‘bout the many who wronged me, done me no good and I carry on saying, “I forgive and forget”, mind you, I did do the forgiving, but if you thought I forgot what you did to me when I was down and out…you got another thing coming.
I do not forget.
Nor do I easily forgive.
Cause the damage you inflicted upon me is as bad as your thoughts on the tattoos that grace my body.
You can look at me and smile, meanwhile in your pigheaded brain you’re like, “Damn what the F… Why did she go and ink herself up?
That’s what so called forgiveness is for me. I can look at you and say, “It does not matter. What’s done is done. I forgive you and let’s move on”. Meanwhile my imaginary daggers laced with the venom of angry queen bees is right above your head awaiting countdown to launch!
Forgiveness is earned not given.
I earn my race medals through practice and hard work. Not by the magic words, “I forgive you”.
I train, practice and work out what fits in and what needs to go.
October 24, 2016 at 12:30am Pi Patel, at the age of 12 passed on.
He took his last breath, in my arms wrapped in a towel after receiving Propofol followed by Euthosol. He went quietly and at peace. The laboured breathing became soft and even and the discomfort/pain dissipated as his body shut down.
On the third day of his pass, I still grieve. Not as hard as day one when I returned home with Pi’s leash and harness but no Pi. The tears and physical stress were non-stop, to the point where my eyelashes turned inward and prick at my eyeballs. I learnt on that first day at 3am, it’s better to cry standing up rather than lying down, for the phlegm building up in the sinus’ does not drain in rhythm with the tears streaming down the face. Too painful to lie down so I stood in the kitchen and cried.
The steps of grief are making their appearance against my will.
It starts with…
I bargained with HIM to bring Pi back and of course he has yet to do so. I stopped drinking wine a couple of days prior to Pi’s passing because the consumption was becoming excessive. I blame HIM because I feel the help given to stop drinking came with a cost-Pi’s Life! Please, please, please bring Pi back and I’ll return to drinking and consume three bottles a day!!!!
Bargaining TO Anger
For a vet nurse the signs leading up to Pi’s critical status should have been obvious. WHY didn’t I see it! Too busy drinking wine to notice? He was lethargic, did not want to walk, had loose stools, relieved himself on the kitchen tile.
That’s normal for Pi, except the relieving part. That’s it. Didn’t pay attention to relieving himself in the kitchen. I WAS NOT OBSERVANT ENOUGH! I LET MY OWN DOG DIE AND DID NOTHING TO SAVE HIM!. Should have questioned his doctors more, more testing, more bloodwork, more and more and more…and it still would not have saved Pi.
Anger TO Depression
I miss him so. The pain and longing is unbearable. Prior to the euthanasia, I rubbed Pi’s head, inhaled his scent, over, over, over and felt his breath short and shallow on my cheek, over, over, and over. DID NOT WANT TO LET GO. He shivered and I held him tighter, trying to feel the little bit of warmth left in him. He was cold, weak and terribly uncomfortable. He needed to go, to get away from pain and I had to let him go.
Depression TO Acceptance
He’s not here at home with me and in two weeks time he will be home again-this time in an urn.
Ashes to Ashes…
It’s easy to accept, yes, my dog is dead. Cold, heartless, steel, jagged edges=DEAD. My dog is dead and that’s that, over and finished. All that’s left in this house right now are his bed, bowls, leash, harness, tags, shampoo, medications, vitamins, lentil food sitting in the fridge, full bag of kibble, towels, winter clothing, booties…and his SCENT. I sniff his bed as much as possible. I miss him so and so and I’m so…
ANGRY, ANGRY, ANGRY.
So Angry I could scream!!!
I CRY in the supermarket
I CRY walking Toby
I CRY looking at his pictures
I CRY, CRY, CRY…
I no longer have a heart because Pi took it with him.