Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Today kicked my ass.

Today my father had the obstructive malignant mass removed from his colon. This makes his hip surgery look me boning a chicken. At it's most simple, your body is your organs enclosed in a membrane. Keep the inside in and the outside out. This gets tricky in your gastro-intestinal tract, where you've got outside stuff inside. Especially down in the intestines when that outside stuff has been distilled into pure badness. Having that obstructive malignant mass removed was urgent because if my father's intestines got blocked, they'd burst, and having poop shooting into your guts is just about the worst thing that can happen.

So with all this on my mind, I headed off to work today.

That, my friends, is a recipe for madness.

"You, Sir, are an idiot and I could give a rat's ass about your need for a 38" by 42" shower pan which nobody makes because no one else on the planet wants or needs a 38" by 42" shower pan because that's just stupid."

I didn't actually say that to anyone, but I thought it. Luckily--for my job--the words that came out of my mouth were something along the lines of, "Huh. Let's check the catalog, 'kay?"

Oh my Lord it was grueling.

Finally the day was over. Finally.

Not sure what I would find, I headed to the hospital. Feeling more and more anxious with every step, I made my way through the lobby, up the elevator, and down the hall to my father's room.

My father wasn't there.

As in, he and his hospital bed weren't there.

I was totally thrown.

Wait, I thought. Recovery.

I checked with the nurse's station. Yup. He was in recovery. He had his operation at 2 p.m., and the nurse said that as a rule of thumb, five hours in recovery was to be expected. She suggested I come back around 7:30.

So I headed to church and sat in my car until services started at 6:30.

But then, at 6:25 when I went in, the place was empty. No priest, no nobody.

Something was up.

I sat in the pew and prayed, taking advantage of the quiet and the solitude.

All but overwhelmed, I prayed for my daddy. As in, my daddy. The man who would sit me in his lap and read Uncle Wiggly and Dr. Seuss and even the Hardy Boys to me. My daddy who, when I fell asleep, would carry me back to bed in the carrier he used for firewood. My daddy who used to stand next to me when I was throwing up and tell me to "be a brave soldier." And my daddy who gave me my first driving lesson and who used to drive me to high school at 5 a.m. so I could go to morning practice when I was on the swim team. And my daddy who, when I told him I was gay, deflected that so we could have a debate about whether or not Leonard Bernstein was gay.

It was a total little boy prayer: "God, please let my daddy be okay."

It turns out that the Padres has that stomach flu that's going around. After conferring out in the vestibule while I prayed, they decided that instead of eucharist, we'd have Evening Prayer. Not, as a rule, my favorite office. And I'll admit a lot of that has to do with the inclusion of St. John Chrysostum's Phos Hilarion. St. John Chrysostum was a big ol' phobe. I mean, just obsessed with the whole gay thing. In like the Third Century yet! Prick.

After Evening Prayer, we re-convened in the parish hall for a lenten dinner. One of the ladies of St. Paul's made her amazing seafood soup. It rocked. And I got some to take home! Swag! Yes!

So then, it was back to Doylestown Hospital, arriving there a few minutes after Eight. Back through the lobby, up the elevator, down the hall, into my father's room, and still no dad.

So. Didn't. Need. That.

But what ya gonna do?

How about go home and get ready for the reunion episode of Project Runway. Forget all about everything and just watch some mindless television. Take inspiration from Tim Gunn and Make It Work.

As I turned into the driveway, I noticed that the lawn was bathed in moonlight.

No way!

There's a lunar eclipse tonight. Especially after the dreary weather all day today, I assumed that like every other celestial event, tonight's eclipse would go down behind clouds.

But there it was: as I walked Faithful Companion, I saw the full moon, with that strange shadow in the lower left.

And I saw that eclipse. (Running outside every time the cut to a commercial from Project Runway.)


So strange to see the moon not being the moon. There but not there.


Anonymous said...

I have had 6 major surgeries in the last 27 months and in the 3 hospitals my companion was allowed in the recovery room as soon as I was awake. This was also true when my prostate was removed 5 years ago. What's up with Doylestown?

Jennifer said...

You are so eloquent about your dad. You brought tears to my eyes. Take care.

alterboy said...

The eclipse was amazing, no? My continued prayers are with you and your father. I'm wondering if Chrysostom doth protest too much???