Daily Archives: July 15, 2010

My Little Chicken Drumstick

And then Erik posted this:

This video reminds me of a conversation I had with a dude that I was hanging out with when my dad got sick. He would whine about how much life sucks 24/7 while my dad, who had just discovered his heart was 75% blocked and he could probably drop dead at any second, managed to smile and crack me up on a daily basis.

One night I interrupted his bitching and started yelling at him about it: “You have your health, you have a job, you have a roof over your head, you have family, you have friends, you’re smart … you may not have a car, but at least you can walk. Some people can’t, or they can but they don’t have anywhere to go. You know? Focus on the shit you have – because you have more than you think – and build from there. Your life will never get better until you do.”

He refused to admit that there was anything good about his life. I started to get more and more upset, and in hindsight, I was probably more mad at myself for suddenly realizing my own negative attitude than I was at him. But I flashed him this disgusted look and tremblingly said – in a voice so harsh, I can’t believe it came out of me – “My dad’s body is killing him, but he’s still living more than you.”

Needless to say, that’s about the time he stopped talking to me. I try to control my emotions these days, but people who are trapped in their own misery make me violently angry. Life sucks. But it doesn’t stop and, after a certain point, neither should you. Get a good night’s sleep, grab some duct tape and get back to it. You know?

Point of story: I love this dude.

The joke about his hands being cold reminds me of something that cracked my family up at the hospital. My dad needs an inflatable mattress for his bedsores. During one visit, after they brought in the bed and put my dad in it, a nurse taped a sign to the wall:

She taped it to the wall after she saw that my dad doesn’t have heels. I read the note to him and he laughed.

“Well, I forgot to bring my heels with me. Can we float yours?” he asked, then added, “Are you sure it’s safe to leave me with these people?”

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