Thursday, December 13, 2007

Elvis LIVES!!!! and other gallows humor

Elvis, Andy Warhol and Scarlett, my three native snakes, have bruminated and will most likely survive. I moved them into a warmer place by the water heater (gas) just to help them along.

Andy annouced his state of non-death by hissing loudly and baring his teeth when I picked him up. Since I thought he was dead, it startled me a bit. Elvis was equally preturbed at being rescued.

The others were dead and beginning to bloat. Apparently you can decay even in frigid temps. I never knew that. When a male snake dies, its hemipenis (they have two wonkers) is extruded during rigor mortis. Turns out Bette was a Bob. Who knew?

Alfred was removed from his resting place at the bottom of the rat freezer. He ended up on the top of the pile being hauled out to the curb, at least he was on top till he slid off and under the wheels of the trash bin. THUD. 12 pounds of frozen snake makes a frightful sounds. "Goddammit Alfred" I cussed, then cracked up laughing. Alfred always was a trouble maker.

I was systematic, removing the dead and then the previously frozen and then cleaned out my freezer/fridge-anything that was a stink potential was tossed. I sang negro spirituals and then made up my own as I worked. "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child" morphed into "Bring out your dead and start new life"....

I was glad I made it clear that I didn't want/need any help because I was able to go about my tasks in my own head space. Singing, crying, doing what I needed to do. I bought a smudge stick and will smudge the house tomorrow. Mom annoyed me by going from not knowing what a smudge stick was to lecturing me on how to use it in one breath.

Mom is sort of in high snit because I won't let her help. It's a safety precaution for us all-she has no fear of spoiled food but is terrified of waste. I really need to lay off Mom-she is moving into the land of the lost. I mourn her, I respect her, but I cannot cater to every disordered thought. It won't do anyone any good.

And, I also respect me. This was my time to mourn my departed friends and even my departed can of sheep's yogurt and the cauliflower that would never be made into soup. It was not a time to defend why I purchased it or why the cauliflower was two days down on the list of things to save and therefore went unsaved.

Tomorrow, if the power is not restored I will give us all a break and go to a motel for a few days. The more invisible I try to make myself the more agitated Mom gets. "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???" There really isn't a good answer for that one.

Dementia is not only a mind killer, it can kill the souls of those around, if you let it. I will not let it it. My task is to keep my eyes open, show respect and take care of what I can. It isn't to throw myself on someone else's crazed pyre.

And that's the rub-cause I would if I could, and if it would do any good.


Forever Young said...

yahoo Elvis,Warhol and Scarlett, how amazing is that 'in the face of death, there is life'. you are remarkable and strong and doing it your way, that's all that counts. as for your mom, i know-
i went through this 26 years ago with my mom, who carped at me till her dying day and then tried to beg forgiveness on her death bed and it was too late.
big hugs and maybe a strong brandy is sent your way today.

Anonymous said...

We were talking about your snakes at dinner last night...and hoped for the possibility of a return to life thaw. Hooray!

Your gallows humor is so daringly human...and poignant. A favorite combo of mine.

Debra Kay said...

That's me-the Emperoress of the Inappropriate....

Prozacville said...

Hi Debs. Been in bed with flu so off the blog-radar for a while. Heard about the snakes through Ma. Just wanted to say...sorry (not that I killed them). Been doing a catch-up read. Other people's tragedies always make such riveting reading. Such is the nature of life.

Debra Kay said...

Would you use a netti pot if I sent you one? Tragedy is such a human word, very uniguely human. The surviving snakes did not mourn the others, or their own precarious hold on life. The very things that make us human can also kill us if we let it-animals have so much to teach.