Never Again-That Night cant stand
I remember being in my knees staring at the carpet. I think I was trying to count the blue threads vs the green threads. Thinking about someone I'd met that day, trying to stay out of the way to prevent the fighting.
Ethel I think was her name and she was in a wheel-chair. Normally I follow the don't be rude, it's none of your business card. But she was reaching for something dropped and obviously having a hard time. Very old. I picked it up and handed it to her and instead of saying thank you she said hi.
"I remember being your age," she was saying, "...Where those kind's of things just couldn't grow and it was in that field I lost the fingers off my right hand..." She told me about growing up on a cotton farm durring the depression of the 30's. "Most folk didn't like to admit to needing help those days. Not like now." And I was thinking about that arrogant, self-centered, entitlement prick I was living with. My head was down, force of habit. Kind of a speak only when spoken too thing from my childhood and I noticed her leg move. A foot stretch beneath the blanket. She saw me cock my head in silent inquisitiveness. "....but that's just the trouble with kids these days." She concluded, coming to a brief silence. "You know why I'm in this chair?"
"Because you can't walk or need to recover from something." Confidence was something I could force out on cue.
"His name was Ira." She began, "and it was ten years ago this May. They work but they haven't held me in ten years. It started out as a joke between two old buzzards who seemed to have nothing left. He'd drink because he was old and retired and so he could and I would tend house, clean up after him. Deal with his temper and drunken messes. I kept telling him I couldn't stand his being like that. One night I took a deep breath, walked into the kitchen and sat down by the table. 'What if I can't stand anymore' I asked him. And the old buzzard didn't believe me. I told him that I would not stand again until he got sober and stayed sober."
He said: "Bet my life on it you won't go through with it."
"It took him a few days to understand me. I went hungry until he started feeding me, sobriety had to come with the responsibilities. Took him a month to get me a wheel-chair and get me around the house. Ripest I've ever smelled in my own house. Or out of it for that matter. I refused to stand and I refused cook and cleanign went out the window. But he loved me and eventually he started caring for me as if I couldn't get up. Sitting down gave him a look into what I'd been doing for him all the years he wasn't sober. One day he told me not to get up, not to ever lift a finger again because he knew he owed me and if I did, it would feel like I was telling him my turn was up and he didn't want to drink again.
"'It's tempting...' he's say... and I know I cant stand. I won't stand it because I love him..."
The little old woman in the wheel-chair Smiled up at me and was slowly pushed along by a sweet seeming little old man. I couldn't believe this was what was lurking beneath a drunk and bad man.
Picking my fingernails, listening to the drunk in the other room, counting the green fibers, I've noticed there are three or four to ever one or two.
"You don't even care what happens to them!"
"I don't care?! I don't Care?! Who do you think goes to wor..."
He's right for now. For now she needs him. I want to tell you that I need him, that I care. But honestly; I cant stand it when he gets like this.