Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Kiss and Stupid Ruminations

Here's one of those things one doesn't want to talk about when you're married to a guy with deteriorating health, in this case dementia (might be different if your spouse still has his wits about him and you could share in the weird health issues). What does one do for companionship?

My girlfriend went through a divorce recently, things ended amicably enough, and I've been watching her experiences like a hawk. First she got right online and signed up for a number of those Internet dating interfaces, like or Plentyofish. She'd come over and use my computer and I'd get to watch how she sorted through the guys. I think this sort of "dating" might work for someone that's very visually inclined. I don't know, and I guess I really don't get it. But watching her adventures (and misadventures) has been a great amusement to me.

For one thing, she's decided at this age, (that is, past the desire to engage ones diminishing biological clock) that there are a lot of "Santa Claus'" out there. Okay, maybe I'm being a f*ing jerk, but what is it with some of the guys after the age of 50? Maybe too much beer or pasta...but then the beard comes out and the handle bar mustache and the Harley and the ripped tee shirt and the big ol' arms with prison tat's, (okay, maybe that's just my hometown)..... Some of the guys list old rock icons as the music of choice. So these guys won't have heard of Sonic Youth or Beck ("yeah, Jeff Beck!), or Elliot Smith or Kings of Leon or most anything past 1976.

It's tough. My husband Paul, is 62 years old and has early onset of dementia due to a brain injury (he'd actually recovered from back in 95) he lives at a nursing home now and he looks pretty good compared to some of the guys the website suggests for her. Then there's the problem with the 'content' or text on the profiles with misuses of words like there, they're and their (spell check? and you can tell when its a typo). Or, where I live, by the beach, many of the guys are hoping for a retirement in Tahiti in a few years.

Paul and I used to talk about the concept of retirement. Artists don't retire. Why would we want to stop doing something we love to do?

Whatever. Okay, I admit it. I am being a f--ing jerk.

And I'm not the greatest catch myself.
I'm worn out from years of caring for someone. I've still got Paul to care for in some small ways, and for, I'm sure, a long time to come. I'm lousy with a need to have some enjoyment, fun even, just as a distraction from the immensity of sad from the past 7 years. It's not like one sits around feeling sorry for oneself. I think it doesn't work that way once you're past the shock of it all. It's just the constant juggling of making daily things work right and putting up with the little indignities. Who will trims his finger nails? Who is in charge of making sure the nursing home finds his belts, so his pants won't fall down? Talking to the nursing home barber about not cutting his hair into a freaking crew cut, again.

I'm certainly no great shakes. As a musician I make a essentially what would be called a poverty level wage and I have a 9 year old to raise (a lovely one to be sure). On that note I just got a call today from Section 8 housing, which helps poor folk get into affordable housing. I'd signed up for it about 5 years ago, when things were so terrible with Paul living at home, and I guess my number has come up. The catch is though, you have to live in a place with others that are on Section 8 housing and that is probably not a block and a half from the beach like where I live now (and have lived for the past 16 years). Decisions. It could save me money, probably $400 a month, which could pay for 2/3rds of my health insurance, but I'd have to live in a place not nearly as nice as what we have now.

So there you have it.... I'm a loser, living amongst losers looking for losers. Aint it grand?

But no complaints. I had my first kiss in way too many years, and life is indeed, very grand.

1 comment:

  1. You are NOT a loser, Cindy Lee. You are a beautiful person, with a beautiful mind to match your beautiful face. Anyone who can make an album as transcendent and celestial as "Garage Orchestra" ain't shooting blanks in the firing range of life. Happy T-Giving, CLB. Hope to see you play live again real soon. The drinks will be on me. --- Andru Reeve