Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

There's a reason I don't live in Texas

The friggin' HEAT.  It's always been hot as hell between mid-April and late October, but this is ridiculous. 100+ every day I've been here, except day before yesterday, when some late showers rolled in and lay a nice long dousing over the city.  Then it got down to 80.  With 95% humidity.  Makes winter in Buffalo seem very appealing.

Yesterday I stayed with mom for 10 solid hours, getting her to do her PT and take her meds and eat something, and she's doing better than she was but still is not anywhere near where the doctors think she should be.

I have to add...hell is a rehab/nursing home.  Not because of the staff; they're doing a better job than I've ever seen before and seem genuinely concerned about mom.  And are happy that someone from the family is there to help get her to do the things she needs to do to get better.  You still have to make sure things get done, at times, but some of the CNAs do come in to check on mom, and she does her level best to not be a bother, even when she absolutely needs to be.

But some of the other people there...Jesus, God.  One emaciated elderly lady lies in a wheelchair and every five minutes begins weeping about how it's no good.  I have no idea what she's referring to, but she's heartbreaking when she does it.  Another old woman just glares as me when I pass by, her lips locked in a half-sneer-half-snarl.  An old man sees me and smiles then looks away, shaking, tears drifting down his cheeks.  And others just...just sit and wait and God only knows the thoughts in their heads.  I've seen very few visitors to any of them.  Man...I do not want to wind up like this.  A bullet to the brain would be kinder.

But...just to seem shallow and callous...this is helping me with a moment in "Place of Safety" when Brendan is with his mother in the hospital, after he's returned to Derry.  I have a feeling this moment will cause me massive trouble when the story is published, but it fits too perfectly with everything.  Meaning, I wound up doing more on the story, since I was here even when she napped, focusing on the step outline, and I actually got a spine worked out.  Guess that's the positive aspect of a dark, quiet room -- no distractions except the general noises of the staff doing their thing and the occasional cries of the abandoned.


A.B.Gayle said...

I assume you've read "The Beauty of Men" by Andrew Holleran. What stuck in my mind after that (apart from the sadness about all the lives lost to AIDS) were the scenes in the nursing home.

Having spent a lot of time visiting aunts with dementia I could empathise only too well.

Dementia can manifest in a number of different ways. BTW People with urinary tract infections are often misdiagnosed as having dementia, as they can act quite irrationally and lose their balance.

I started reading your blog while tossing up whether to buy and read one of your books. It's been fascinating. I feel for you with the Dems and GOP.

We get a different view of it all over here in Australia. The Republicans never give any Dem president the chance to be effective as they know that if they did, they'd never get back into office. So they white ant.

JamTheCat said...

Thanks, AB. It does bring back memories...tho' the gay community did a pretty damn good job of pulling together to help those in need. God...the friends I lost.

You're right about UTIs. Now that mom's over her infection, she's much clearer. But I also think she's given up and is letting herself slide into death. I've seen this before, too.

JEsus, I'm getting morbid...and depressed. Off the subject.

So...did you decide to read one of my books? If so, which one? Or have you already told me this? Mind is not working on all cylinders, at the moment.

A.B.Gayle said...

I bought a kindle edition of "How to Rape a Straight Guy" on a friend's recommendation.

I read the Google excerpt of the first chapter and was intrigued. So, will let you know when I finish.

I'm one of those middle aged het females who read gay books. In my case it was to get a better understanding of gay guys and the way they tick. So as well as reading the current crop of m/m romances written by women, I've deliberately sought out books by authors I know are male....

In the process, apart from Andrew Holleran, I've read (and corresponded with) Ken Shakin, Dirk Vanden, William Maltese, Victor Banis and a lot of the more recent ones: Patric Michael, Don Schecter, Damon Suede, Charles Edward.

It's been an interesting journey...

As for your Mom, it's hard when you see them slip into death. A part of you seems to die when they do, even though you know that their quality of life at the end just sucks. It's the old cliche that you have to be grateful for the good times and all the good memories.

JamTheCat said... warned; mine are not your typical gay storytime sort of books.

Thanks for the thoughts about my mother. Only time will tell how it goes.