quinta-feira, 25 de junho de 2020

Version 2.052

Yesterday, I went to the dentist. At the door, there was a sign asking us to call in to get instructions before entering. Janet, the receptionist, asked so many questions that I distinctly felt that I lived in the Inquisition: did I travel in the last 14 days, did I have any symptoms, had I been next to anyone who is positive for the virus, and on and on... Upon entering, I had to sign a waiver in case I became infected in their office.

I don't know, but at this point it almost feels like we are living in the Old Testament. It's not just the pandemic, it's the sand storm coming all the way from the Sahara desert, the locusts plagues in India and Pakistan, etc. It all seems so contrived to be real. At least, I did not have a cavity, just a stain in my tooth, probably from one of my retainers, which has a metal piece that touches that particular tooth. I could't believe it. Surely there had to be something wrong. The whole world is falling into pieces, so why would I not have a cavity.

Work has been extremely busy. Every time I feel like I have carved some room to breath, a new challenge comes up. I relish challenges, but it also wears me out. I cannot even comprehend how people survived before society opted for a 40-hour work week. Yes, I understand that work used to be less brainy and more physical, but even still, the thought of doing repetitive manual labor is enough to send me into a depression spin. Or maybe it's not as bad as I imagine.

I was so beat up after work today that I texted my neighbor to tell her I was ready for a break and she kindly invited me to go over to her place. She offered me a glass of wine and fed me dinner. We chatted for a bit, while her husband watched Jimmy Buffet on TV. Then she broke down, crying. Here is this lovely woman, who is always laughing and trying to be cheery all the time, sobbing. Her mother has just turned 86 and has dementia and last night called 911 to ask to be rescued. The call got transferred to the fire department who almost came, were it not for the fact that my neighbor got up just in time to let them know that her mother was OK, she has dementia.

Her mother is not OK. Every day, she becomes frailer. It's not just that her mind is not working, she also does not want to eat. It's like her body is trying to die, but the organs do not fail, so it stopped wanting food or even water. When I visit, I try to cheer her up. I ask her if she's on a diet for bikini season or if she'd rather have a glass of wine instead of water. She just giggles and sometimes complains because she shakes so much due to Parkinson's, so I tell her that's really good. If she starts rattling and rolling, she'll be all set, like the song goes.

I tell my neighbor that she needs to make peace with the situation. We are at a point where we cannot make improvements; all we do is manage the end and try to provide some comfort. But every day is like the last: we get up, we eat, we drink, we stay alive. Why would any one day be the last literally? What makes the day we die so special that it has to happen?

For me, it is easy to see the end approaching because I am on the outside, but if I were in her shoes, I'd be wracking my brain just like she is trying to figure out what else could be done. Yes, it is futile, but every single day that we live is futile; there is nothing special about any one of us being alive at any particular time. What makes it special is our own belief.

This morning, I was standing in front of the window when a hummingbird flew by. I had not seen one this year yet. I don't recall the last time I felt this guilty all because it had been months since I had changed the hummingbird nectar in the feeders. So many days I thought about doing it and I procrastinated until today. I thought that hummingbird was special.

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