I can barely recall what I did today. Things were in a muddle this morning. After having awoken during the night several times, once at midnight (which is becoming a habit) then later at three o’clock and five-thirty, it wasn’t until 8:30 a.m. that I finally had the urge to get out of bed, and this after having retired only minutes after 9:00 p.m. last evening. Even after almost twelve hours of lying in bed, it was all I could do to muster the inclination to get up. All this rubbish I have had to endure the past several weeks, slipshod work from tradesmen, a mendacious merchant and a tardy car dealer, has evidently worn me to the ground. Normally when I oversleep my back is stiff in the morning. Not today however. When I arose I discovered that my haircut appointment was for ten o’clock not ten-thirty as I had imagined. Not that it put an incredible strain on things but it certainly kept me moving.
My haircut appointment went well as it usually does. Simone – my hair architect – is a talented professional. She knows what she is doing and I like what she does. As is so often the case, when leaving the hair salon, I dislike the windswept look I’ve been given, but the cut is good and I can soon water down the hair sufficiently to restore my accustomed mediocrity. Simone told me more than usual today about her trans-gender child, Maya, whose picture I saw and whose latest CD I heard (at least as much as one can possibly hear anything through the speakers of an iPhone in a hair salon). Maya’s photo was quite extraordinary, very much along the lines of what one expects to see of models in magazines but otherwise bordering on hyperbolic. I focused instead on Maya’s conviction and determination. Considering my own silly preoccupation with hair at my age I shouldn’t criticize Maya for her concerns about appearance.
We drove to Ottawa to see my mother and to inspect the newly installed oil tank (which my mother decided last night when she telephoned me is an abomination and a detraction to the value of her house, convinced that it is misplaced even though I tried in vain to explain to her that the problem is not the size of the tank but the necessity to connect the feeder lines above ground). We all descended into the basement this morning and I demonstrated as best I could to my mother that the location of the new tank was suitable for a utility room and that there was ample room remaining for a rumpus room in the basement if a subsequent owner felt the necessity to construct one. Mother was clearly in a foul mood. She suggested she was in the middle of some household chores. Apart from telling her how to take the new over-the-counter medicine we brought her, we didn’t linger. I relished being able to tell her that, for the first time in what seems like weeks, we haven’t anything on the agenda for tomorrow. The only commitment is a late luncheon with my sister on Saturday.
Our cleaning lady attended today so we had to ensure our absence from the apartment during the afternoon. We decided against Gananoque and headed instead to Cedar Cove. Once through White Lake we discovered the road to Cedar Cove was under construction so we detoured to the Centennial Restaurant in Pakenham. There we ordered a Lebanese salad and a Mexican pizza (which was laced with cinnamon, something I found off-putting). We both succumbed to homemade rice pudding topped with whipped cream.
We meandered along the back roads from Pakenham through Blakeney to Almonte then onto Stittsville where we shopped for groceries at Sobeys. We were back home after five o’clock. We had a minor disagreement involving a reference to my constant repetition of things I have already voiced before. I construed the attack as an unfavourable comment on my needless statement of frivolous information whereas I was later told that the concern rather was that I am developing something resembling the early stages of dementia in that I forget what I have told people already. Either way it wasn’t assuaging and as a result our subsequent communications have been muffled. We sought to afford a digression by going for an evening bicycle ride along Country Street and back. Admittedly it was healthful and welcome but did little to improve our toleration of one another. Oh well, just one of those things which close acquaintances must learn to endure.
I transferred my disturbance to Facebook by deleting the names of several so-called friends, people who have lately proven themselves to be anything but friends and who upon even the most cursory analysis I find I can live without. As a result I have whittled my roster of friends to nine in number. These are at least people whom I admire for one reason or another even if we are not in constant communication. The Facebook thing is merely a metaphor for my on-going internal debate about people with whom I once associated. It shouldn’t alarm me to discover myself reacting unfavourably to almost everyone, including my own mother. Lately I seemingly have no generosity for others. I excuse my overt anxiety by fashioning it as delayed remonstrance, thinking that I have withstood the annoyances of others for far too long. As usual this type of thinking gets me nowhere; I always live to regret it. Thankfully the only person to whom I have spoken directly about my feelings is my mother and I have every reason to suspect that she hasn’t any recollection of what I said in any event. As for the rest I content myself with mere disguised comments or quietness. And then of course there’s the lethal action of “unfriending” someone on Facebook.
I am at least grateful that we are slowly rounding out the transition of my mother from her two-storey four-bedroom house to an apartment in a retirement home. I am convinced I will be able to make the place look very comfortable and I am equally positive that doing this now is none too soon. My mother’s condition, physical and mental, declines incrementally every day. It will be a huge relief to know that this coming winter she will be properly cared for and that the house will be sold (the next step to happen in the next four months before our departure).