Observations on my 84 year-old dad: the “What’s he building in there?” edition
Some of you may recall that back on June 16th I reported on my father’s latest escapades into a place where truth and reality continue to be a rarity (feel free to review at https://curtweiss.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/observations-on-my-84-year-old-dad-fathers-day-edition-originally-posted-61614-2/). At that time one sister stopped speaking to him while the other had already basically disowned him. At this time I am in the unenviable position of having the most contact with my father of any family member. This means he calls me…often. He still calls them, but I am the only one that eventually responds.
When the phone rings there’s a usual scenario. First the landline: The only time it rings its ether my father or telemarketers. It’s hard to tell which one is selling me a larger bill of goods. If the television is on, a graphic appears with his name and number on it. I shudder, roll my eyes, say something like “what the f*ck does he want now?” and ignore it. Then my cell will ring, with my mother’s name popping up on the screen. I’ve yet to take her name out of my contact list. It would be another nail in her proverbial coffin…in spite of the fact that she was cremated three months ago. As the sequence of ringing phones continues, there’s often a text from one, if not both, of my sisters saying that he’s called them too. So, there are now as many as four phones he has dialed, of which he’s not connected with anyone nor has he left a voice mail.
At this point, my sisters and I continue our texting. We try and guess what he wants: what piece of paper he’s looking for; what web research he wants one of us to do; a new “hackuh” he’s discovered at the gym; news on a malpractice law suit he’s pursuing; can we find him an agent, etc. We also discuss what an a** hole he is and what lie he’ll tell us. You know: the usual.
Once a week, maybe two if he actually leaves me a voice mail, I call him back. Part of it is to alleviate my occasional guilt towards what would seemingly be the abandonment of my father, the same abandonment he confessed to my mother he was worried would happen to him if she died before him. Now, stop and think about that for a moment. Here’s a man, talking to his wife of 57 years, the mother of his three children, on what would ultimately be her death bed, and telling her that HE’S got a problem that she should worry about and attend to. Gee, what else could be on her mind? Is that the ultimate narcissistic act? Not some version of “how can I help you my dying, devoted wife?” but “here’s how your pain, misery and suffering impacts me.”
But I digress…
The other reason I call him is I’m just curious as to what wacky sh*t he’s up to! See, I know how dangerous it can be talking to him. He’s a conniver of the highest order. But, come on now! I mean, I’ve got a book to write and I need free content! It’s like being a literary Youtube or the Huffington post blog section! Free content! And luckily, he does not disappoint.
According to Sir Cock and Bull, when he was at the convalescent home (the one he walked out of a few days after back surgery and insisted he needed for rehab), he SLIPPED ON FECES IN THE BATHROOM AND RE-INJURED HIS BACK. You heard it right. But, I wasn’t sure I heard it right, so I made him say it again. And he did! And, you guessed it, he’s looking for an attorney to discuss the case with. Now mind you, he’s saying all of this in the breathy voice he puts on whenever he wants to sound sick and get sympathy. I heard him use this voice when trying to convince someone who placed seniors in assisted living facilities that he had breathing problems and needed to be placed in a home in Santa Monica by the beach. When the phone call was over, he went back to his regular voice. So, when I hear this voice on the phone, it’s more evidence that he’s lying. Usually, the fact that he’s talking is enough, but the put on voice seals the deal.
Did he mention slipping on poop to me the day he left the convalescent home? Nope. Did he mention it to my sister before she told him to take a flying fu*k and hung up on him? Nope. Did he mention it in the letter he wrote to her a few weeks later as she wouldn’t return his phone calls, explaining how awful the place was? Nope. Just as he did the evening after I exploded on him for lying to the bank officer, telling them that my mother needed a new debit card even after she’d been dead for a week, he’s reverse engineering again. This is one of his most finally honed skills. True, it didn’t keep him out of jail, but it satisfies his diseased mind. It relieves him of any guilt, makes those challenging him wrong, connives the legal system and puts money in his pocket. It’s a narcissists’ superfecta! All he has to do is re-write history. “Of course the place was horrible! There was sh*t on the floor and I slipped on it! I was physically hurt and emotionally degraded and have to sue them for the good of all senior citizens! I’m Superman and Mother Teresa all rolled into one! Bow down before me, my royal subjects!”
But, the story doesn’t end there:
Lloyd: “I met someone who’s going to get my screenplay sold.”
Me: “Really dad. Where did you meet him?”
Lloyd: “At the gym. He was in a TV show. You ever hear of Star Trek?”
Me: “Yes dad, I have heard of it. What character did he play?”
Lloyd: “The character? I think he said Spock”.
Well, just beam me the fu*k up Scotty!
The stories that he develops in his mind are built on reality. But I think there are gremlins in his brain, that no matter how much he hops up and down on one foot, and bangs the side of his head, just won’t come out. The gears are all flapping wildly and clanking like an engine in need of oil. But that doesn’t stop him. He keeps turning the key, hoping the motor will run.
What’s he building in there? We have a right to know!!!
© Curt Weiss 2014