Friday, February 9, 2018

Waiting for Superman


December was a rough month, the roughest i've had in some sixteen odd years or so, and the back spasms were the least of my worries.  If you've hung around the lounge long enough you know that me and the old man are pretty tight, my friends have often told me that they wished they had a relationship like the one my father and i have, and so when he told me he has been diagnosed with cancer it was the rare shot that buckled my knees, colon and liver, needless to say i got worry and worried i have been for the last whatever number of weeks as i try to sort out what i can do to help...

Of course my old man, Pops, as he is known to the boyos and my friends, is the most zen motherfucker you'll ever want to meet, he's a well read guy but i'm sure he's never read a book on the subject which makes him even more so, by not trying to be it he is it as Alan Watts would say, his surgeon has called him the most rational patient he's ever seen, as he stated in that first conversation, "everyone dies someday kid and it's alright, we'll see what we can do and if there's nothing? that's alright too, we'll take it from there...", the man has been teaching me my whole life and continues to do so...

One could say my mind has been on overdrive and i've been thinking a lot about any number of things when it comes to my Dad, i know the greatest thing he ever gave me was the ability to be me, did he influence the way i think? of course, but as he said to me many years ago, "it doesn't matter what i want you to be or if i like what you do because it's not my life, it's yours, and you're the one who has to live it, it's your choice what you do with it...", i understand what he gave me, call it freedom or free will or whatever, maybe what it's called is unconditional love in the purest sense, i believe it is the most important thing a parent can give to their child, he's knows his son wasn't always the most upstanding citizen, he knew it way back when, but it was my life and up to me to navigate it...

The strange thing is i've been mentally preparing myself for something like this for years, my old man has worked the graveyard shift for the last twenty odd years, he's been smoking cigarettes for over 50, he lives alone, every time he didn't answer the phone or people couldn't get a hold of him there was always that flash, of course oddly enough his lungs appear to be fine which drew a good laugh from both of us, yes the smoking didn't do him any favors in other respects but the former accountant turned warehouse grunt was in pretty decent shape for a guy in his 70's, yes he copped to the fact he could have done some routine medical things which he didn't but once again he stated there was no use moaning about it, he didn't, so we'll just get on with it...

So next week i'll drive home, alone, much like i used to, i'll stay at my dad's place and in the wee hours i'll drive him crosstown to the Cleveland Clinic where he'll have surgery to see what or if anything can be done for his liver, my big sis lives in Cleveland but i wanted to be the one to take him, i get the feeling he wanted me to take him, i understand this is how shit works, he does too, it'll be a long week but we'll get through it, it's what he taught me, you do whatever you have to do for the ones you love...

* Those first five paragraphs were written around 5am, this afternoon, after a flurry of trades by our beloved Cavaliers i called my dad to get his thoughts, he had just gotten off the phone with his doctors, seems the heart tests he had done were less than stellar, another layer of worry, another question to answer, shit ain't getting any easier, the liver has to be sorted but if the heart can't take the stress of surgery? well you get the idea, i can hear a level of frustration in his voice, i do my best to talk to him about what needs done and what i can to help and then try to get his mind on other things, tell him about the boyos and the bullshit that is the day in and day out of El Kono, i think he needs the break from thinking about all this stuff...


(this song was written by Wayne Coyne about his father when he was sick, it was one of the first things i thought of when i found out for some reason, music has always been what gets me through the day, i told Pops i'll do my best to pretend i'm tougher than i am when it comes to this, but it's getting heavy as the song says... and it's hard to type when i can't see the screen through the mist in my eyes...)








5 comments:

daisyfae said...

This is truly the shittiest part of growing up - riding shotgun as our parents move toward the exit...

From the time my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer (bigass tumor, size of an orange, that had metastasized to his liver), he got 2 good years of the 3 1/2 that he lived beyond that. A lot of zen with him, too.

The most important thing i gave him? i listened. i listened when he wanted to talk about dying. The minute he'd say "after i'm gone..." the rest of the crew would shut him down, saying "don't say that! don't be negative! you're not dying!"

He'd eventually talk to me about his fears. His acceptance. His complete lack of regret.

You're going to be the best road dawg he could possibly have... i'm hoping he's got a lot more good days ahead of him! But damn, this sucks.

Kenneth Noisewater said...

Jesus fuck. This was sad.

I never knew that is what "Waiting for Superman." I always thought it was a sad one, but now it's that much sadder. I just bought that record on vinyl for a good friend's 40th birthday. Has to be in the top five albums of the 1990's.

Sounds like Pops has a good perspective and no regrets. And he has for sure imparted a lot of wisdom onto you over the years. The buyos are no doubt better off for having known him as well.

Stay strong, dude. Even with everything with your dad and the Cavs shit-canning their whole team. Can you just send Tristan Thompson to the Bulls? I always liked his game. I like hard-working rebounding and defensive specialist types.

Exile on Pain Street said...

I think it's great that you still refer to Clevo as 'home.' I do it too and I moved away 30 years ago. You can't go wrong with the Cleveland Clinic. All good wishes to you and your family. Those are two good looking strapping boys you've got there. Remember, they're going to watch how you navigate this. No pressure.

Kono said...

Daisy - Thanks Daisy.

Dr. Noisewater - The Soft Bulletin is one of my favorite albums period. And we'll give you Thompson for Markkanen, i think Thompson is a donkey. Over-rated and way overpaid. Mr. Kardashian can't guard tough bigs (see Steven Adams) and has stone hands, is shit from the free throw line, i could go on... the new look Cavs on the other hand? fuck yeah. We'll crush the East now, JR and LBJ look re-energized, the new kids look great (especially Nance Jr) and i think it makes us young and athletic enough to give certain teams in the West problems... and we don't even have Love back yet, though when he gets back Mr. Kardashian might see his minutes go way down... or at least i hope.

Exile- i left for school in 1988 and was back sporadically until 92-93, so it's been a good 25 years but it will always be home, we Clevelanders always represent. I know what i have to do and i know who is watching. I had the best teacher i could ask for and he'll be teaching me right up until the end.

Kenneth Noisewater said...

Kong: The Cavs are revitalized. But they just can't beat those Dubs, right? But that's what people said a couple years ago . . . Could be interesting. But yeah, I think the Cavs roll through the west fairly easily on their trip to the finals, while the Dubs will have very tough games with the Rockets and/or the Thunder.