Friday, June 8, 2007

A Meal Alone

I push my plate away from me. This eating alone sucks I decide. I had just had a supper of baked chicken and cornbread – not exactly a rounded meal of the food groups. Dieting is so hard for me, but I am determined to get back to my normal weight. I have found it helps greatly with my social anxieties.

The phone rings and I answer. It is 10PM and almost bedtime.

"Come get your medications," my father says and then he hangs up.

I walk over in the cool night air. The smell of the summer air and the ambience of crickets calling brings joy to my soul. I walk into the house and sit down in the den.

"I am so proud of you lately," my father says as he hands me my medications.

I take them and he checks my hand for errant pills.

"You've done so well these past few months."

My father's words are of little comfort. I am no longer a child and long ago quit basing the worth of my life on his opinions.

"What are we going to go about your medications when you move in a few weeks?" he asks.

"I will just have to take them," I reply.

"No," my father says. "It will be a very long time until I trust you with them."

I sigh.

"Goodnight," I say as I get up and walk back across the yard to my house.

It could be worse, I tell myself. My father has given me a more normal and conventional life. He really does mean well. I think of all the people mired in poverty and homelessness and it softens my humiliation over the way my father treats me. I will never again have to worry about such things.

The evening ends with me drinking a glass of skim milk and having one more cigar before retiring. Maggie knows the routine and is already curled up in the bed awaiting me. I turn on the air conditioner. Turn off the lights. I then lay down on the bed and in what seems like moments, I awake to the morning sun shining through my windows. It is another day.

18 comments:

justLacey said...

You are always a child in your parents eyes. Before I had children, I used to think when they grew up that you stopped worrying about them. My oldest is 19 and I find I still worry, just about bigger things. I know it's hard, but cut the old guy some slack. My mom is dying of cancer now and I find the things that used to irritate me about my parents are minimal in the grand scheme. You are doing a wondeful job of taking care of yourself and now trying to help others. You seem content and sometimes happy and that is the important thing. Parents are always annoying no matter how old you get, lol.

Joshua said...

Nice, my friend! But if you only, on top of that, realise that there's so much world byond the narrow state of Alabama!!!

Josie Two Shoes said...

You're right, Andrew, eating meals alone is not much fun at all. Where was your friend Rosa?

The thing with your Dad is so complicated. I know that he does what he does because he wants to see you stay healthy and stable, yet the way he does it is sometimes so demeaning. I wish there was someone else that could fulfill the role of your "assistant" in matters like finance and medication, so that it wouldn't have to be part of your relationship with your Dad. It does make you feel like a small child, even though he probably doesn't realize it. But as long as he isn't continuing to push MORE pills on you, it probably isn't a crisis. At some point he will need to learn to trust you to become a little more independent in steps. You've done so well lately, and he needs to see that! Do you think if you had an envelope of just one day's meds, you would always remember to take them? If so, I would try to start working on that with him - the not having to check your hands thing. But the bottom line is that you ARE feeling good most days now, so whatever it takes to stay there!

Sword Inc said...

Have an eventful and wonderful day Andrew. While Rosa is gaining celebrity status down here... my Regards to her too

2 LMZ FARMS said...

It doesn't matter how old the child gets in the parent's eyes they are still their children. I often find myself telling my kids what to do and how to do it. Even my own Mother still does me that way. Everything from running barrels, how to cook, how to run my household, how to wash clothes, etc, she still tells me like I'm a child how to do it. Then my kids come in and I catch myself doing it to them. Tessa, who is 28, just looks at me like I need to be shot. It's just something a parent will always do no matter how old you get. I'm glad that you are sticking to your diet. Wish I could. Hope you have yourself a wonderful weekend.
Laura

2 LMZ FARMS said...

Oh, the ad you have for hair coloring, are you trying to drop a hint to me?lol My hubby told me this morning that I needed to do something, it looked white on top. Think I will go red this time. Can't you see me now, long, kinky red headed.lol
Laura

Beautiful Feet said...

One thing that I struggle with is surrendering to the protective love tat is offered to me - not all people can be entrusted in that position of authority over anothers' life. It sounds as though your father is really trying to guide you and protect you away from habits that could endanger your life. Thank you so much for sharing your stories - they offer so much insight and understanding.

Moonroot said...

I think your Dad means well - my Mum still tries to hold my hand when we cross the street. I'm 43! Perhaps you could look on it as something you're doing for your Dad (to give him peace of mind) as opposed to somnething he's doing for you (to keep you on the straight and narrow)?

Andrew said...

Moonroot,

That is a wonderful suggestion and I will try to conjure that frame of mind from now on.

Thank you,

Andrew

Blue Gardenia said...

Andrew, I always try to not take my medicine. It is good while it lasts and then I get into the downward spiral of hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. A lot of psychosis can be addictively euphoric and then the paranoia feels like hell and we are powerless. My own father died 2 years ago wishing he could do something to help me. So let your own father ease his own mind. Despite his ham-handed delivery, he is trying to help.

The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

Andrew,
I've been dropping by for a few days now and reading your posts with interest. As you write about your experiences and post them you should realize that you aren't really doing things alone - because there are lots of us out here, who are sharing your experiences through your writing. (I know that doesn't make it feel any better when there is no one in the room with you while you eat.) I'm inspired by you to also try and lose some weight. Gosh I fail at this over and over, but your perisistence and optimism is quite contagious! Thank you for the inspiration!

Mrs. Joseph said...

Andrew -- in my random sojourn through the "next blog" button I came upon your space here in the blogosphere and was immediately touched by your candor and the immediacy with which you write about your experiences. Despite your lonely dinner, it appears that you have touched many people. Good luck in your continued recovery and keep up the good weight loss work. As an overweight middle aged lady I certainly can relate to that challenge!

Cheryl said...

You'll be moving into your new house in a few weeks? I can't wait to hear about the adventures of moving in, and being in your own home. It really will be different.

Glad to hear you slept through the night. I picked right up on that.

subtract the ads! said...

If you hate ads while playing any flash game then check out http://www.uggames.info NO ADS and you can download any flash game on the site for free so you can play it offline forever. ALL GAMES COMPATIBLE WITH MAC AND WINDOWS!

david mcmahon said...

G'day again, Andrew,

You have (as I always tell you) The Gift of writing.

Have you ever thought about trying to get an agent or a publisher?

I see your point of view in this post - but as a parent, I also see your father's as well.

Good luck and do keep in touch. Don't forget to check how you fared in the Blog Awards, which will be posted in a few hours.

Cheers

David

larrybored said...

hey, you're lucky to have a dad like yours. as you can see, a lot of kids in the 3rd world countries doesn't even have a single parent to tend for them. you can see a lot of kids in the streets tending for themselves. eating rubish and stuff. so appreciate the efforts of your dad. it'll be father's day soon. hope you could make something special for him.

http://larrybored.i.ph

CRUSTYBEEF said...

"My father's words are of little comfort. I am no longer a child and long ago quit basing the worth of my life on his opinions."-YOU

I am so proud to read those words for you, and deeply selfishly saddened for reading those words because I wish that I too could stop basing my worth on my dad's ideal way of life.
More Power to you. You're strong, you have a fabulous people surrounding you, as I with my husband, you will go far my friend, you WILL go far!
Always,
Crusty
btw, I haven't read the comments yet on this posting, so my apologies if I've repeated the very things that others have commended you on. :)
have a fabulous weekend.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Oh, and Thank you again very kindly for the recipe...I just asked my husband if he would go out and pick up the ingrediants..so although you may have sat alone, there are many of us that are "silently hosting" you in their families due to the touching way that you are and what you're passing on to families far away...that there Mr. 4th avenue Blues, is spiritual faith in itself.

Even though you can't see us. :)
Thank you!
Always,
Crusty