The Thing about Pain, or Sharing My Shit Sandwich

That picture up there above this text, the one that looks like two pieces of bread with a steaming pile of shit in-between, that there is a shit sandwich. According to one Internet website, a shit sandwich is "something highly undesirable which can not be ameliorated, but only endured." The reason that I inserted a watercolor picture of a shit sandwich at the top of this post is because I thought it looked better in watercolor and also because I've been consuming one giant shit sandwich for a long time now and I thought it might help to tear off a piece and let someone else try it. So here, have a bite.

To be honest, I hate a lot of things right now. Actually, that's not true. To be a little bit more honest, I hate everything right now. That might seem like an exaggeration, but please allow me to explain. When I separate things out and look at them independent of other things, or other thing, singular, as is the case here, I like a lot of things, most things actually. But when I put those things next to this other thing, this mammoth, omnipresent, monumentally awful thing, I come to hate those other things, or parts of those others things, as well. In relation to this one thing that is tied to all other things, every thing ends up falling into the category of "Things That I Hate" by default. Thus, right now I hate everything.

Forgive me if I'm not making any sense. It's pretty late here. Lemme try again.

My mom is dying. My mom is dying and everything else in the world, no matter how good, feels bad. I try to paint a rosy picture for the people in my life by smiling a lot and giving all of my best stock answers, but the truth is that things are the worst. In fact, at this very moment I am lying on the floor of my parents' living room next to a couch that has become my mother's bed because she can no longer physically get into her actual bed, the bed she's shared with my dad for thirty-six years as of last week, because her muscles have become weak to the point of near-uselessness. And that part, that part about her sleeping on the living room couch instead of in her own bed with the person that she loves more than anything else in the world, that's not even the worst part, but I'll get there.

I'm at home for Thanksgiving this week and I wanted to give my father a break from sleeping in the chair next to the couch that has become my mother's bed, which is where he's been sleeping every night for many months now in the event that my mom might wake up and need something, so I made him spend the last few nights in what was once their bed to spare his back a little, which means that for the last few nights instead of waking up my dad I was the one that my mom had to wake by groaning, because she can hardly speak anymore, to ask me at least five times because I was half-asleep and because she's hard to understand now, to move parts of her body slightly to prevent them from falling asleep. My mother, my beautiful mother, my beautiful mother who taught me how to swim and who ran five miles through our old neighborhood before work every day and who once hit a grand slam in a softball game right before my very eyes can't even move her own fucking right elbow one lousy inch to keep her hand from going numb. That alone, that sick yet still incredibly tiny part of this endless fucking nightmare makes me want to smash every single window in every single house on every single street in my whole fucking town because it's a reminder of that thing, that unthinkable thing; that my mother is a prisoner in her own body, that my mother is dying.

I spend a lot time very carefully choosing the words that I post here on this blog and elsewhere on the Internet to make things in my life seem great. But right now, and for a while now, things haven't been great. Yes, I have great friends and a great partner and a great family, but things are not great, not even close. I find myself, during most parts of most days, perpetually holding back tears and feeling actively pissed off to the point of clenched fists but with nobody and no thing to use them on. I could be mad at ALS, but ALS won't care that I'm mad at it and offer an apology and make my mom's body work again. I could be mad at some higher power but that would mean I'd have to believe in some higher power that would let, nay, that caused my mom to be sick, which isn't even worth entertaining at this hour. Hell, I could even be mad at my mom for being so fucking impossible not to love that I don't even want to imagine what my life would be like without her, but that really doesn't make much sense, even at 11:52pm. So here I am, mad at nothing and everything at the same time and aside from this blog post and what I'm certain will be an unquellable outburst or two as we speed closer and closer to the end, there will have been no reason for my anger, except that it demands to be felt. Nothing, not a single thing, will result from the energy I've put into being angry, which is, in itself, really quite maddening.

It's midnight and I'll almost certainly regret having posted this when I wake up tomorrow and see that a couple hundred people have read words that I typed while exhausted and upset, but right now it's really hard to write when it's not the truth and I need to write to feel a little bit okay and so all of that up there, that watercolor shit sandwich at the top of this post and everything after it, right now that's my truth, and I hate it.