In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

No Empathy: Short-term Relationships (an eavesdropper’s delivery) 

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Shit or get off the pot, my mom always said. Well, I’ve taken enough shit. I’m getting off by telling him off. I mean, who the fuck says he loves someone and then fails to show up at an important event as promised and then nonchalantly excuses himself with some lame-ass story. Unbelievable. 

–Did he know he was supposed to be at this wedding for a long time or some last minute invite by you?

No, for fuck’s sake! He got the same invitation I did a few months ago! He’s known forever!

–Oh.

He offered to come all the way to my house to pick me up so we wouldn’t have to take two cars. That’s at least a half hour out of his way, since the church is north of his apartment and I am way south. He knew as of last Wednesday when we made these plans.

–What was his excuse?

He claimed his mom called him in a panic about losing her driver’s license and was frantic about it. He had to go help her.

–What? That IS lame.

Right? Especially since his stepdad is there to help.

–Sounds like he just didn’t want to go this wedding.

That’s what I think. And these are good friends of ours, so he knew it was important for me to go. (Smiling) You know how much I love a good party too. There was an open bar and everything.

–So did he find the license for his mom? 

I don’t know. I was so mad at him I hardly listened. He might have said they couldn’t find it.

–Wow, that’s kind of shitty. How could he justify letting you down for something so stupid. Does his mother drive to work?

No, she doesn’t work. She retired from an 80k a year admin job after she couldn’t do it any more because of memory loss. 

–Oh, how sad. Alzheimer’s?

No, she had a slow carbon monoxide leak in the stove of her apartment she lived in for ten years. Apparently it destroyed her memory. Permanently.

–Oh shit, that’s terrible! I mean, is she like severely brain damaged or just slightly impaired?

No, she is totally fucked up. She appears normal, but she forgets everything she just did or said. It’s short term memory loss. Well not everything, but she forgets a lot. And it makes her anxious and paranoid. 

–How old is she? 

She’s 75. 

–Is she healthy otherwise? I mean is she a frail 75 or a strong 75?

She just had a heart attack and a stent put it in her groin to help her circulation. She is much better now. Says she can think a little more clearly. You wouldn’t even know she has a memory issue other than she is slow talking, a little, and seems spacy. But she is fearful as fuck when she can’t remember something she knows she should or loses something…like the driver’s license. She gets herself all worked up.

–Which couldn’t be good for her heart. 

No, she’s supposed to be on meds to help her mellow out, get rid of the anxiety but she forgets to take it. 

–Well, isn’t her husband any help? 

No, he’s like 86 and on his way out. Ironically, she is his caretaker.

–Are you fucking kidding me?!!

Yeah, it’s crazy.

–Does she drive? Is she able to?

Well yeah, but she gets lost.

–That is a goddam tragedy waiting to happen.

Right? And yet she won’t let her own son take them in. I mean Terry’s a great guy for that. He wanted to get help for them, put them in a senior living place, really nice community, or just take them in himself, which would have totally sucked the life out of him, suck for us. But she’s too fucking stubborn and would rather just have him at her beck and call whenever the slightest thing happens. 

–Holy fuck, Karen! You can’t be serious?!  When did you get to be such an asshole?

 

credit: wikihow.com

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