Friday, February 13, 2009

The Tribunal of Bourgie B*%#tches

Anyone who has ever had the displeasure of taking care of an elderly or disabled person knows that visitors are few and far between. Friends and family may come around for birthdays or special occasions, but day-to-day? Hardly. It's too depressing. Boring. Smelly. Weird.

In the days after Great Aunt's second drink-and-fall, three invisible friends decided to pay me a visit and give me a piece of their mind.

The first was Mrs. Battleaxe and her assistant, Betty Boop. Mrs. Battleaxe, a 70-something long-time friend of Great Aunt, lived in Baldwin Hills. Betty Boop was her 36-year-old personal assistant, a silly, vapid, pretentious, materialistic, keeping-it-young-while-still-posing-for-lingerie-calendars Los Angeles snob.

I was in my bedroom, about an hour into the three-hour job of braiding my hair, when they realized I was home and demanded that I join them in the living room. So there I was, half Buckwheat and half braids, facing down perfectly coiffed bourgie bitches.

Neighborhood Watch, the loudmouth from across the street, was in on the action, too. He had a key to the house and was a constant, nosy presence.

They were full of concern about bruised and confused Great Aunt. They'd never seen her look so bad. She was too thin. What in the world was the problem?

"You want to know the problem? This is the problem."

I shoved a recycling bin in their faces. It was filled with empty liquor bottles. One or two gallon-sized jugs of wine. Two or three empty bottles of hard liquor. All of it consumed by Great Aunt, with a little help from her drinking buddy, Neighborhood Watch.

The phones must have been busy that evening, because the next day, Cousin Inglewood paid me a surprise visit. I came back from early-morning grocery shopping to find her sitting in the living room. She had previously been cordial to me, but now she was fixing me with a hard, beady-eyed stare. Cousin Inglewood obviously thought Great Aunt had hit my fist, not the floor.

She watched me like a hawk as I stuffed a thousand TV dinners in the freezer.

"What? Y'all don't cook?!"

No, in fact, we did not.

Cooking was never my thing to begin with, but living with Great Aunt made a dreaded chore an impossible one. It took infinite patience to fix something as simple as a pot of grits. Because if I left the kitchen for even a minute, Great Aunt would turn off my pots.

So TV dinners it was. And the kicker was, that's all Great Aunt had eaten for years, even before too much vino and too much gin turned her wits to mush. She herself didn't cook.

I left the house and went to acting class. When I came home, court was in session.

Battleaxe and Betty Boop (who normally didn't visit at all) were back for their second visit in two days. Joined of course by Neighborhood Watch. And by Mr. Sweet Talker. He greeted me with, "You are the subject, and I am the predicate. Sit down here and join us."

I was on trial, and before it ended, I cussed all my elders out.

(Semi-Homeless Diaries Part 3 of 12: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 | Lessons Learned 1-2: 1 2)

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6 comments:

jb said...

Anita.....wtf girl you're going to have a mental breakdown. Listen you stay strong and don't let this bring you down.

Follow your path to where you want to go. Ok...drunky mic drunk is a pain in the ass but she's going to kick it old school eventually right!!! not to be mean and no offense to you or anut boozey.... but the reality is how much longer before her liver fails or she trips over a bottle of booze and looses her teeth....mmmm....does she still have her real teeth...ok whatever, you know what I mean right.

Can I ask you why, you don't place her in a treatment center for 2 weeks to clean her up?

Anita.... the women is 88 who the fuck cares, she's seen things and been through more them me that's for sure and wtf...maybe this her idea of kicking the bucket and getting the fuck out of dodge.

Stay strong and please don't stop writing, I really love to read your stories. And by the way, I know that you love her because your still there and writing about it helps you cope. It's hard to see someone you love and care about, who was and still is a pioneer of her day, become this fragile, lost person, you so admired. Be strong for her and you.

Take Really Good Care
JB

Don't Be a Slut said...

J.B. never fear. I'm actually writing about what my life was like at age 25.

I'm 37 now, and I'm doing great.

P.S. A footnote on Great Aunt. She passed away last week, three months shy of her 101st birthday. I will be attending her memorial service next Wednesday. More on that in a future blog post...

jb said...

I'm so sorry and I'm such a num nut. I should learn to read better. Great aunt lived freaking long holy crap.

Well your doing good and that's what counts for sure. So, your stories are from when your where 25 to 37. I'm going to go read someof your back posts so I'm not such a blog idiot....so have you landed the great gig in lala land or are you working hard writing your book, which I think is so great.

Thanks for following my blog much appreciated.
So, now when you post a story it's from the early years of anita AKA DBAS hahaah D-BAS sounds like a DJ's tag name.

Take Good Care
JB

Anonymous said...

I just want to say taking care of an elderly or disabled person is not always a "displeasure." I thought you only stayed there anyway. Why such vehemence instead of gratitude in retrospect? That's an awful lot of complaining, is the truth you should have been more angry at yourself for having to have a roommate? Nonetheless I love your honesty in writing and hope you can one day turn all this into a great autobiography.

Cheron L. Hall said...

I can only imagine...me and my mother have been glued to each other for the last 30 years...its inevitable...I KNOW what things will be like if she becomes ill and makes her transition before I do...no one comes to see her, no one checks on her...

I know we as a people put a very high regard on the respect of our elders, but sometimes...

Cheron L. Hall said...

also...may she rest in peace.

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