Irksome

Pop’s hearing gets worse when Betty’s around. That means every weekend he hears less of me. I’ll say something and he’ll turn to her and ask, “What did he say?” But when Betty’s back at Presby. Homes for the week, Pop, in general, hears me just fine. 

I’m tugged between relief and resentment at everything Betty does for Pop. Her presence makes me feel like a leech for living here. Betty’ll say, “I have to earn my keep.” And I’ll say back, “No, you don’t.” Because she doesn’t, and I do. But she likes to cater to Pop; and he prefers her care to mine. In sooth, she was a nurse for two years some sixty years ago. But, now? Betty can’t entirely care for herself. That’s why her brother moved her out of her condo and into a Presby. Homes assisted living apartment. What this means is, on the weekends, I’m playing caregiver to two old-timers—when I really only signed up for one.

Last weekend I caught Pop tweezing whiskers from Betty’s chin. She hadn’t asked him to do it, but he didn’t like looking at them. 

Betty avoids the kitchen whenever I use it. This is fine, since I’d rather not share it. 

Yesterday, Pop decided to test the second floor smoke detector by standing on a chair and holding a lit match to it. I was at rehearsal at the time. Said smoke detector is now noticeably scorched. 

And every morning, that bird with the most annoying chirp… 

6 June 2005

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