Saturday, April 27, 2002

something in the genes

Yesterday, I picked up my dad from the train station. Not enthusiastically. I was dreading his return, knowing that my current buoyont mood would most likely come careening back down to Earth with all the stress he induces in me. Probably about an hour ago, he yelled at me and cried.

He had been asleep on the living room couch since he came home yesterday at about five in the afternoon until just about two hours ago. He had been in Florida visiting his sister for two weeks, but his medication was to run out today and so he needed to come home. Damn, stupid Kaiser and the HMO system for not prescribing him it over the phone, so he could stay in Florida forever.

Anyways, two hours ago he woke up, and asked what time it was. My mom told him. He, irratably made calls to the people that run the hospice, bitching them out on the phone, and then complaining to my mom and me about them. My mom and I were silent, keeping our attention on whatever we were each doing - "doin' our own thing," you might say, should you be inclined to speak in such a way. She, typing on the computer. Me, reading the paper at the dining room table. The hospice people give him trouble because they think something is sketchy about him. Which, there most definitly is. After he had his Oxycontin prescription "stolen" about four times, they finally wised up, got tougher with him, and switched his medication. Which, he bitched about forever. And so, my mom and I, didn't really respond to his rantings because we didn't feel too much sympathy for him and thought the hospice people were doing him a very kind service, which he fails to recognize, because he is quite possibly the biggest asshole on the face of the Earth.

So he was out of medication, going through withdrawl, trying to get his prescriptions refilled, and he made a doctor's appointment for today. He then asked, "What time is it?" dopily, and since it was the fourth time he asked in about ten minutes, neither my mom or me really payed attention to him. About thirty seconds later, he asks, "Charlie?" I look up from the paper, and casually ask, "What?"

Casually, at a lower then normal speaking level, I asked this. But, my dad somehow interpreted this as yelling and burst into tears, and started sobbing, "Don't yell at me! Don't yell at me! Why do you always have to yell at me when I ask you a question?" and on and on. I looked at the spectacle of him sobbing and yelling, and looked at my mom's annoyed face (who is getting tired of my dad's antics, too), and then picked up the paper and went upstairs to my room, leaving him to finish out his sobbing session by himself and to figure out the fucking time by himself. There's only four clocks all over the house, you whiny baby!

Anyways, I went up to my room, and I really wasn't even upset my dad. Stuff like this is just too routine for it to even affect me. Without break of thought, I went right back to where I was in the article about some five-hundred year old tree that had been cloned. Tree people, whatever their proper title is, were all excited about the feat, believing that oaks could be grown that would resist fungus and moss. They said that the reason that the one oak had survived so long, the Wye Oak - the biggest oak on the east cost - was because of the tree's genetics. "The secret to its beauty and longeivity? Scientists believe it's all in the genes."

It's always genetics.

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