One morning last week, at about 7:00 a.m., my father started feeling a little funny, so he went to his recliner and lost consciousness. My mother came in a short while later, sat down next to him, and fell asleep reading the paper. My oldest brother, who moved back in with my parents a few years ago, after his girlfriend died, came in about 11:30 a.m. to say Hey. My father roused a little bit but his speech was so slurred that my brother couldn’t understand him, so, since my brother had been up all night watching movies, he went back to bed. He didn’t check back until about 6:00 p.m., at which point my father could barely speak or move his arms or legs. My brother called 911. Paramedics came, roused my diabetic father with insulin, and hauled him (he’s a big man) to one hospital that turned them away because they were too busy. After getting him into a less busy hospital and giving him a CT scan to make sure he hadn’t had a stroke, they gave him a sandwich and a piece of chocolate cake (“make sure the diabetic in bed twelve gets extra chocolate cake!”) and sent him home.
My father was so ridiculously blasé about this whole episode that after getting out of the hospital he went to Dairy Queen for ice cream. I have to say, this kind of perverse behavior runs rampant in my family. Just last week I had a practitioner tell me to cut caffeine and sugar out of my diet, and what did I do? I woke up the next morning and had a double latte and a chocolate-chip scone. I couldn’t help myself. I want things even more after I’ve been told not to have them.This bizarrely spiteful impulse also caused me to reach for a pair of baggy-ass jeans this morning, after Jack had taken the time and trouble to pick out two new pairs of sporty, butt-loving shorts that look great on me. Because — sheesh! — why would I want to do something that would actually set a fella’s pecans on fire? I know it’s more complicated than that, of course, but I’m not one of those insightful blogging people, I’m one of those the-baby’ll-be-up-from-his-nap-in-twenty-minutes-so-I’d-better-get-cracking blogging people.