Observations on quality time with my 84 year old father, day 10:
• Typical conversation;
o Me – “Dad, which doctor are you seeing today?”
o Dad – “The witch doctor.”
• He asked me to write down his “new” email address and password. Again. This would be at least the third time I’ve done this for him since August. I even put it on a sticky note by his monitor. Since my mother’s health nosedived last July, he’s also had to learn how to use an ATM machine and debit cards. It makes him feel very modern, almost as if he lives in the 20th century. He was reticent to transfer money from one of my mother’s accounts to his, worrying that the bank would suspect him of being up to something. That makes sense to me because it is quite reasonable to suspect him of being up to something. When he got out of jail he had some plan to put together an auto parts and salvage business with some people he met in stir. Sounded to me like a chop shop for stolen vehicle parts. “Dad, let me look at your terms of parole. I doubt you’re supposed to consort with known felons.” He never showed it to me, so I wrote to the parole board to get a copy. According to him they threatened to lock him up again, due to my request. My mom said “He thinks you’re trying to get him put back in jail.” “Mom, he seems to be doing quite a good job of that himself. I’m not trying to get him thrown back into jail. I’m trying to keep him out of jail. Don’t you worry about these things?” She said “It keeps him busy.” After that, I didn’t speak to my father for a year. Come to think of it, it was a relatively quiet year. He never opened his chop shop.
• He always wants me to change my shaving regimen. “Dad, when I’m not working, I don’t shave every day.” I use an electric which he can’t fathom resulting in a clean shave. He recently changed from his old single edge razor to a multi-blade model. Again, it makes him feel very modern, like a person who uses ATMs and debit cards. He used to show up with cuts all over his face, and blood on his collar every day for work. It took him 60 years to change and he insists that he doesn’t cut himself anymore. He still looks like he lost a fight with Dracula.
© Curt Weiss 2014