Sunday, January 5, 2014

that did not happen

My old Chevy is sputtering and complaining as I turn her key on this -12 degree early morn. I am on the way to the hospital to sit and wait for my 89-year-old father to have his bladder cancer surgery, his third occurrence. I turn into Micky D's and ask for the biggest, baddest Diet Coke they have, light on the ice. I will need help maintaining any level of alertness.

Dad's already in bed, his small bony shoulders poking through the hospital gown designed for a large professional football player. He's all of 141 pounds, takes only Tylenol for medication and exercises religiously. His diet is stellar and if I ate as much fiber as he does I wouldn' t be able to leave the house. Which really wouldn't bother me.

The surgery was predicted to last two hours but after thirty minutes the receptionist tells us the doc wants to speak to us. Jesus Christ they've killed him I think and the muscles in my shoulders constrict. We follow the middle-aged lady with the football helmet hair into a little room with a dry erase board and several kleenex boxes. But it's all right, the surgeon says, Sonny and his monastic lifestyle once again win the race. The old man sped through the procedure and he is on the mend..

We're back in the waiting room, my sister and I, and I'm watching a woman in a Green Bay Packer sweatshirt and puffy bangs reminiscent of 1988 eating a giant heap of tator tots in a styrofoam container. The fried food smell at this early hour is playing havoc with my stomach so I start making fun of the other waiters which is not a difficult thing in the Midwest. We beg for ridicule, our flat nasal accents, our love of denim and white New Balance athletic shoes and let's not forget our main food staple, ranch dressing.

My brother, jolly Dave arrives and plants himself between us. He's a solidly muscular guy and my sister and I are sitting on a very small love seat designed for two, so now we are seriously compromised for space. The other waiters are whispering and watching us, especially when we start giggling and taking selfies. Hey guys, I comment to my siblings, we are sitting ridiculously close. "We're Mormon," squeals my brother,"and this is my harem." We're just really crazy happy the old man is okay. I notice an elderly neighbor of mine sitting off to the side and I wave weakly. It never ends.

Dad is slurping down jello and checking the expiration date on the container. He is chiding the nurse for not having 100% whole wheat bread when he ordered his peanut butter sandwich. Sonny, still dopey from all that sleepy juice says to me, I have a lot of burning in my penis. Okay, my father did not just say that word to me. I have a few simple rules in my life and that's one of them.


1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

Love this selfie.So glad your dad made it through.