[-empyre-] sex death love - on AGEING
SWHTaylor at zoho.com
Mon Sep 30 10:33:31 AEST 2019
Your story of the 80 year-old prompts me to reply.
My small family lived with my parents in separate buildings on the same
property. The kids grew up through their aging and dying. I had the
privilege of nursing both my parents until their deaths. But it is a
mistake to call it a privilege. I recall a family friend telling me what
an important time it was, a rich experience, to be nursing my dying
father. I actually spent my time fighting the doctors' drug regimes.
This was like when I had to commit my closest friend, section him, they
call it in some places. The attendant would not believe he was
psychotic. He's just acting, the doctor said. And he was, he had been an
actor. And in the waiting room at the mental institution he had taken
off all his clothes and was performing the best Fool from Lear I had
ever seen, dancing on the backs of the chairs. But having been an actor
without work first led him into depression. Then when he went looking to
find himself a place in the world he found only psychosis. I could not
convince the doctors my father had been drugged into psychosis. He had
been a director. The medical professions enjoyed the suppression of his
rage, when I could not stand it. Like those lines beginning Herbert
Blau's book /Impossible Theater/: /The purpose of this book is to talk
up a revolution. Where there are rumblings already, I want to cheer them
on. I intend to be incendiary and subversive, maybe even un-American. I
shall probably hurt some people unintentionally; there are some I want
to hurt. I may as well confess right now the full extent of my animus:
there are times when, confronted with the despicable behavior of people
in the American theater, I feel like the lunatic Lear on the heath,
wanting to "kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!"/
My mother died two within two years of my father. I remember her saying
about his loss, /I feel like half my body has been cut off./
Belonging to an earlier generation, my honorary grandmother, came to New
Zealand in the 1950s. An actress, she upstaged Christmas by dying on
that day in 2000.
Three things: Most importantly, she wanted to go to the home in England
that is set up for theatre people, mainly actors and actresses. Maybe
directors, like Herb, like my Dad, would not be able to stand it. She
couldn't go and in New Zealand there is nothing like that respect for
the second oldest profession.
So she planned for dying, aging, saying that she did not want anyone to
have to look after her, or to feel they must. With great pragmatism she
arranged everything. All she insisted on was that we visit her regularly
in the nursing home where she ended up--surrounded by people with whom
she had not the slightest thing in common.
My friend and I went and stayed with her when I was a student. Our
bedroom was next to hers. We tried to be quiet. But in the morning we
rose late to find she had a friend visiting. She introduced us to the
visitor, saying about me, /He learnt to walk here. He learnt to talk
here. Now he's learning to **** here. /Not that she was modest about the
word. It was simply funnier not saying it.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the empyre