Saturday, January 10, 2015

Real Life Bird vs. Birdman

Tern contemplating fork in the road. Oh, wait. Terns can fly.
I'd like to say I'm contemplating a fork in the road, but I'm not really. I'm not even envisioning a road right now. More like a merry-go-round. This is one of those times in life when the "it could be worse" conversation is actually helpful. Because things could be so much worse.

And I don't mind really that in the past hour my mom has asked me three times what time her doctor's appointment is tomorrow. Tomorrow's Sunday, I say. Oh, I'm confused because M went back today, she says. Right I say. M went back, but it's Saturday. No doctor's appointment tomorrow. Right, she says. Repeat. Repeat. The thing about losing your cognitive faculties that is comforting is that even when you know you're losing it (and she does know that) you don't really grasp the particular moment-to-moment of it all. Thank god, because that would be so much worse, right?

And I don't really mind that it's impossible to have a real conversation with her in the way I could a few months ago. She's still pleasant and talkative and knows who she is. She listens at the dinner table and tries to chime in. When I told M that I went to the movie "Birdman" on my time off today, my mom said oh yes, she'd read about it and that the birds are very important to our world. When I said I didn't really like the movie as much as I thought I would, and tried to explain that I thought it was like "Noises Off" without the funny bits, and that it seemed inherently confusing to craft a story around an actor who played a flying Hollywood superhero called Birdman, and that the character of the actor also appears to posses certain real-life superpowers like telekinesis and levitation, and yes, even flying, she said well, you should write a story. Write a story about me called "The Life of My Mother." It could be so much worse.

So,"Birdman." Very fine performances. But why can he telekinetically slam the door of his dressing room (or did he fling it open?) and yet he couldn't open the stage door that locked him outside right before his entrance? And really, in an Equity Broadway production, when an actor does not show up for places before an entrance, no one goes to look for him? Especially when there's a make-up person waiting in the wings to do her thing right before that entrance? And the actor exchanging the prop gun for a real gun when it's some prop person's job to hand him the gun right before he goes on? And really, the story he told about how  he was covered with dozens of huge jelly fish and got stung and then passed it off as a sunburn? Gah. I fell out of the dream of the story so many times while watching the movie, I'm covered in bruises. Or maybe I'm just so fucking grumpy nothing can please me, but really, it could be so much worse.


lily cedar said...

Sometimes "It could be so much worse" helps and sometimes not. I have not advice. It's just fucking hard.

Here's a quote from Winston Churchill. "When you're going through hell, keep going."

Sending hugs.

37paddington said...

I have been thinking about this since I read it last night. I think watching our mothers drift into the fog, no matter how benign, is the hardest thing. My mother has tea parties in her imagination. But it's still disconcerting. I wish I had taped her talking about almost anything when she still had mastery of her mental faculties. I do wish that.

Not Blank said...

I once decided to see how many times my late mother in law, who had dementia, would ask the same question. 16 times it turns out, in about 1/2 hour, before I fled the room.