Thursday, February 24, 2011

Late Night Maudlin Street - How to Make Amends - The Finale Pt. 1


Domino's, you line them up and you knock them down, sometimes you do it yourself and sometimes the universe does it for you, and the strange things were happening some good and some bad, and so it was that one spring afternoon i got a call from the girl, her mother was in the hospital, she had went to stand up and had seized up, it was the second time it had happened in the last few months and her father forced her mother to go to the emergency room, it was there in that hospital that a ER doctor walked in and literally broke down in front of her, the girl's mother, he said he didn't know how to say this, didn't want to say it, but she had a golf ball size tumor in her brain, an end game tumor and that he was at a loss, i picked her up and drove her the two hours to see her mother and the whole time she was numb, i was numb, but i wouldn't compare what i was feeling in any way, shape or form to what the girl was feeling, her mother was the closest person in the world to her, i stood in the back of the room and watched as her children and her husband and her parents tried to comprehend what they had just heard, i sat and watched her mother's mother, some 80 odd years old try and cope with the news that she might have to bury one of her kids, and in the end she did, to say that this had a profound effect on the right bastard would be an understatement, i advised those who would listen to tell the woman everything they ever wanted to tell her before it was to late, told them that in a way the only good thing is that they had time to let the woman know how much they loved her, what she meant to them and in the end most of them did...

Of course by this time i had begun to speak to my mom, would even stop off at her place when i went up to C-town and spend an hour or two, i'd have dinner and talk and i remember the girl saying to me how she could still see the hurt in my mother's eyes and i understood what she meant, things were alot different then they used to be and though we all smiled and laughed it was as if something was lost and it still ate at my mother, but we were getting somewhere however slowly and i guess that's all either one of us could ask for and of course when this news came down it struck me that i was lucky that both of my parents were still in good health, yeah the old man still smoked and that worried me to no end but overall they were in good shape and then the girl came up to me one day shortly after all this happened and said she wanted to have a baby, she wanted her mom to see her, the girl's child, before it was to late and so we set off on down this road and of course the universe has a way of fucking with you, you see the girl had just gone in for her check-up and her mom was staying with us while she went to the Cancer Institute here in the Burgh, it was then that we found out the the girl was already pregnant and there was a lot of smiles and her mom was on cloud nine and i called both my parents and told them the news and then days later the doctor called back and said something wasn't right and that the levels were screwed up and there was a good chance she could lose it but he also said not to worry that due to the fact the girl was on birth control for so long it was amazing that she would even get pregnant a few weeks after she stopped, so then began much hand wringing and worrying and then one day it happened...

For a guy who's been pissed off at the universe for most of his life this was just another example of just how absurd existence was, i blamed myself of course, figured it was just the gods getting even with me for being such a self-centered prick for most of my life and had i thought about it i was being one again, i left the girl with her mother, that's who she wanted and needed, i myself took to wandering around my neighborhood and staring at the sky, i remember the day after it happened i stood on my steps of my little back porch and cried my fucking eyes out and cursed every fucking deity i could think of, told them if there was a way to get them back i would do it and then of course apologized and told Buddha that i would really try and straighten my shit out, try and kick the bad habits, try and be a better man, how effective that was/ is debatable but it wasn't long after that, a few months later that the girl was pregnant again. Now you might be sitting there and wondering what all this has to do with the story but like i said, dominos man dominos...

Saturday July 1, 2006 was three weeks before the due date and i had went out for my last hurrah before i settled down for the stretch run, since it was my last night i had indulged in some bad habits and ended up sleeping for a few hours when the girl got up for work and told me she kept peeing herself, i in my infinite wisdom asked if she thought that maybe just possibly her water broke and she just laughed and said you think? to put it mildly i was in no state to become a father that day but like i said, the gods love fucking with me and so it was that we went to the hospital and were told that yes we would be welcoming a bouncing baby boy that day, as the word spread exactly four people showed up, the girl's parents and my mom and her husband, i of course was a fucking wreck and not just because i was in no way prepared to become a father but also to to my previous nights indulgences and if there was ever a night to get a good night's sleep it would have been that one but so be it, if anything i'm good on the fly and as we sat and waited and pushed and breathed morning turned to day turned to night and all the while i talked with my mom and the girl's father while her mother hovered around her and wiped sweat from her brow and fed her ice chips, now one could say it should have been me doing that but if i'm anything i'm observant and though i knew i had more than a minor role in this baby thing i knew the girl wanted this time with her mother and who was i to fucking act like a knob and take it from her and then at 6:47 pm it began, the nurses cleaned him up and took his vitals and i was trembling and for once not from drugs or alcohol, i was standing near the little heater thingy and when the nurse turned and said "would you like to hold your son" tears began streaming down my face, i gathered myself and choked out a yes and the nurses laughed and said it's always you big, tough guys who fall the hardest and more true words were never spoken...

It was after they handed them to me and i came back down to earth that i noticed how my mother was looking at me, this is a day i'm sure for a long time she thought she'd never see, due to our relationship or the fact that most people didn't think i'd make 30 let alone 35 but here i was, holding my son and she walked over to me and i looked at her and said "would you like to hold you grandson?" and her eyes welled up and she took him and smiled and just kept saying "he's beautiful he's beautiful", and as the boy made the rounds of the room we were then informed that they'd take him for a bit to check him and i was sent to run out for food cuz the girl was starving and the hospital cafe was closed on saturday night and so i walked out and first called my dad who had been waiting up all day to hear from me even though he had to work the graveyard and then of course i called Gulfboot, it was 87 and humid that day and i can just remember talking to my best friend and trying to hold my shit together, overwhelmed by what i had just been through, unsure of what to do next and as Gulfboot celebrated and yelled he told me something that hit home, he said "you got nothing to worry about brother, whether you know it or not you've been taking care of people your whole life, just ask any of your friends, you're the guy they come to when they need help" and as i stood on the corner sweating and drinking Gatorade i dawned on me that maybe he was right...

To say the birth of the I-mac was a catalyst to speed up the healing process between me and my mother would be a massive understatement, we have no family in the Burgh so we were basically on our own, the girl and i, and her mom would come down and stay during the week and she helped immensely but the woman was still going through chemo and radiation and all kinds of shit and that's not to mention the brain surgery she was still recovering from, my mother came down and helped out and when he was old enough he started going up to stay with Ooma and Papa, as he calls them and it is something Kid A and Kid B both love, i know how good they have it up there cuz i was once the old apple of Ooma's eye when i was a kid but let's not put that horse in front of the cart just yet, see i got up every night with my boy's, from the hours of 11pm until the dawn it was daddy's watch and as i've written before they are some of the most fond memories of my life, wandering around a dark room feeding my Kid A, rocking him back to sleep, it gave me a lot of time to think and think hard about my life cuz when you've done what i've done and seen what i've seen you just feel lucky to be standing there holding your kid no matter how fucking tired you may be, i remember looking at him in those early morning hours and thinking what have i done to deserve this? it was a long way from the streets i ran and though i got the itch every now and then those i began to realize that the place i wanted to be most was near my son, now sons...

As time went by i started staying at my mother's house when i went back to Cleveland, a thing i swore i'd never do, the house i grew up in, my old man would come over and hang out and we'd all sit around and play with the boy and have dinner and i thought if the guy who bought this house can walk in here with no ill will towards the current inhabitants maybe it's time for me to re-think my position on things, i was also in the process of watching the girl's mother die and the heartache that ensued and it started to sink in that life is to fucking short to be a hard-headed asshole, that people make mistakes, that people don't always do the right thing and sometimes you just have to let it go, when you realize they weren't trying to hurt you that they are just human and trying to live their life as best they can and when you understand when the mirror is turned on yourself you are just as guilty of being human as the rest of the world, and slowly it happened, i started to let go of the hurt and the anger and began in earnest to re-build what i had a major hand in tearing down...

and now we are almost there, just one last installment to go and then Late Night will be put to bed, stay tuned and try to stay awake...

14 comments:

Jayne said...

That's the cry I was waiting for. The cry I needed, in fact. Hell, we all did. I knew damn straight you stood guilty of being human.
Fucking-A, Kono. I want a signed copy.
Staying tuned...

sybil law said...

Rebuilding is fantastic, though - you come at everything with knowledge, and wisdom - such a great perspective in a new/ old relationship.
You big softie, you. :)

Peau said...

they were only human, indeed.

daisyfae said...

i'd had issues with my mom... all the things she wasn't, no way to connect with her, just straight up not liking her... but when i started breeding, i started to realize that she'd done the best she could. like most of us try to do. i still don't always like her, but i'm glad to have her, and i learned to be a hell of a lot kinder...

love the memories, kono. you always manage to stir my gut with this stuff...

nursemyra said...

have just watched Nowhere Boy which really touched me. Have you seen it Kono? that mother-son thing.....

DiaryofWhy said...

If you're trying to say I need to have a kid in order to re-build a relationship with my mom then, um, I still think I'll pass. Glad it worked for you though. ;)

Kono said...

Dof- it's not done yet, and i believe you may be missing the point, i'm not saying that at all but you're in grad school i'll let you figure it out... oh wait higher education and critical thinking don't often go hand in hand, i love my sense of humor.

Kono said...

DofW- i also don't believe your relationship was anywhere near as damaged as mine, in fact i know that from what you've written, mother/daughter shit is a whole other thing entirely though and since i'm not a daughter i refrain from any further comments on your situation. Besides you got like problems and shit where i on the other hand am the bastion of sanity and stability, right?

DiaryofWhy said...

Wait, you mean I'm actually supposed to read those run-on paragraphs? I usually just skim for content and assume I'm getting the gist of it.

And no, you're right, I would never try to compare my problems and dysfunctions with yours, oh King ONO.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

This has been posted for a few days but I didn't want to dig in until I could give it my undivided attention. It took longer than I though it would but I'm glad I waited.

Just one more installment? Do you mean that? Because that would be shitty.

FUZZARELLY said...

I cried as I read. Please keep writing.

twin said...

tear-jerker...

kid said...

gulfboot was indeed right.

Rassles said...

Sometimes I feel like the best compliment anyone can receive is being told they would make a good parent. My friends tell me I should never have kids because they'll just end up shunned by society for extreme weirdness and inappropriate social skills. To me, though, isn't that actually a reason I should have kids?

I would be insulted, but sometimes I think they just say it because they think I never want kids.