I am walking with my father in his last days. What that means in terms of seconds, minutes, hours and days I am not sure. This is teaching me about the deep, primal need that we all have for someone to walk with us to the edge, although I know he wishes it were not me. He wishes it were his mate; He hates that it's his child and I don't blame him.
But he endures, because I'm all he's got, at least in the way of flesh-and-blood. And I endure, because whatever the hardships, I think I would feel the same.
Those are the kinds of thoughts I cannot escape, now. Thoughts about what I would wish if I were the one so close to the ultimate inevitability.
I feel like I can see him fading, like his edges become more transparent with each passing day, and someday soon I think I will wake up to find that he has faded all away, like a painting in the sun, once vibrant, now just an indiscriminate set of monotone etches on a pale canvas. Like he is already slipping between worlds the way the radio slips in and out from clear signal to static as you get farther and farther from the signal's origin. He is turning into a ghost right before my eyes.
He tells me he is already haunted. I expected him to say it is my mother, but he surprises me instead, and says it is his dog, Schatzie, who recently died. He says she sits behind him on the bed, and that sometimes she talks to him. When he tells me this I have to choke back a sound, some kind of laugh-snort that suffocates in my throat. The medical team has explained to me that his lack of clarity has everything to do with his illness. Still, I teeter on the edge with him, as my reality has to bend around his confusion and my exhaustion.
I am still too close to everything to talk about it more clearly. My perspective is seeing what a person would see if they put their camera right up against the subject and zoomed the lens all the way in. I see a blurry mass. For now, I'm unable to create a picture that the average viewer could look at and understand. But by the same token, this is my experience now and writing is my catharsis. The blurry and disorienting picture of this trip to the edge of time is all I have for now and probably for a while, until someday I'm zoomed far enough out to tell the whole of it.
But in the meantime, if I am absent, if I seem scattered, this is why. I'm spending time close to the edge. It's not my time to raise up on my toes and let the edge of life have me, but everything about being so close blurs my life and blunts my senses a little bit, like vertigo when you look down. So, dear reader, forgive the fog and inconsistency and pray for me.