Sunday, June 08, 2008

Things Change

wild daisy
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Yesterday was one of those days of change that the I Ching or the chaos gods throw into the world once in a while. My aunt, my mother's sister, who I often refer to as the Queen of Bohemia because she basically is (She's a painter. Willem de Kooning used to sleep it off on her couch. She had an affair with Franz Kline. She spent years living between the Chelsea Hotel and Mallorca. I mean, the woman defined cool.) had a stroke apparently about a week ago. We didn't find out about it until L, who was a close friend of mine when I lived in Spain with the Queen of Bohemia back, oh god, like almost 30 years ago, called my brother N on Friday and told him that the QOB (her name is Annie Truxell. But in keeping with the general theme of half assed non anonymity I have here, I will henceforth refer to her as QOB, because if I start calling her A along with my daughter A and so on, this initial thing is going to get completely unusable instead of only partially so.) was in the hospital. Thank the gods that L has been staying with the QOB. Or went by, or something. I'm unclear on the details. Anyway, my brother N has been basically living at the hospital ever since.

The QOB is doing very well. I talked on the phone with her at some length yesterday and she sounds really good for being 80 and having had a stroke. She's already walking around with a cane. She's remembering a lot of words although not, she said sorrowfully, all. She said that when her significant other of many years (the writer Jakov Lind, who died about a year and a half ago) had his stroke, he couldn't talk at all. She knew when she woke up that she'd had a stroke and she immediately thought, I have to talk and talk and not stop talking so I don't forget how.

Yeah, this is my mother's sister. They grow them tough in Iowa. The doctors think she'll be able to leave the hospital in about a week, which is where this all gets hairy, since we the family (that would be me and my brothers and my mother) have decided that she really can't go on living alone in Manhattan. She has a tiny apartment in Chelsea and she's outlived most of her friends. We've been trying to get her to move down here for some years now but she's been resistant. Now, though, it looks like she might go for it. "I've never thought much of family," she said to me on the phone, "But I think maybe I can see the point now. Maybe I'll come down to that weird little town you all like so much."

I think this is a very good idea. Now, though, it becomes a question of logistics and that's where we're at now: planning. Where will she live? Who will take care of her? I might be the answer to both those questions, which is fine by me. She took me in when I was a rebellious, surly and unhappy adolescent, taught me to cook, play competition level scrabble, roll a joint with hashish and tobacco and otherwise left me alone. I owe her and the world comes around nicely sometimes.

In other not so good news, my dear friend S is coming back to Asheville. This is cause for guilty rejoicing for me but not, alas, for her, since her internet fairy tale romance has bitten the proverbial dust and she's stunned and shocked and sad as hell. Sorry, men of the world, but you basically suck. Yeah, yeah, you do. But S will be home soon and, yet again, as the damn world soap operatically turns, at least I will be able to give her what she gave me a month ago: a shoulder to cry on and many beers. Love bites and I don't believe in it anymore.

However. In other news, i went up to Bat Cave today to see my friend D, which was awesome and I will blog about it tomorrow or something BUT in other other news, I GOT CARDED last night when I stopped to buy beer & cigarettes after spending the day at the mall shopping with my mother. Yes. I got carded. And the guy was not even kidding and so, you know, I could pretty much die happy now.


Arwen said...

There is a place out in East Asheville that my grandmother wanted to live in that is independent living with perks. There are pull cords in the kitchen, bath and bedrooms so if an individual falls, someone can come get them. There is also light house keeping and trash removal. It is connected to a assisted living which is connected to a nursing home. If she is trying to remain independent she may want to consider something like that.

Gordon Smith said...

You're Fucking Kidding.

S- ?!?!

Coming home so soon? There must be a terrible, terrible story behind all that.

I'm excited to maybe meet the QOB.

Lanette said...

I was carded by a waiter in Baltimore in April, and kissed him! I was so thrilled I could dance a jig (not that I ever have before). I wonder if he will ever card another over 40 woman again.

The Black Mountain connection to The QOB friends makes Asheville the perfect haunt for her country retirement.

joram said...

Can you pass to Annie the best wishes from me, Joram ten Brink in London- Jakov Lind's nephew. Best wishes

Anonymous said...

Oh..we just moved Matt's mom in South Asheville..pretty sweet..

Anonymous said...

Oh..this is Emily, btw..
Breeders tomorrow?

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is Oona.
I would love it if Annie was to stay with you there, so much better than being alone in N.Y.
I was so worried about her living alone this past year.
I tried to call yesterday but I think they must have changed the phone number.
If you have a way of contacting her please give it to me.
Lots of love,

mygothlaundry said...

Oh hey, y'all, thanks for the good wishes. I'll pass them on to Annie as well. As the plans stand now, Annie is getting out of the hospital on Friday around noon and then she's going back to her apartment with my brother Nat. The hospital is going to send a nurse every day for like 4 or 5 hours. Hopefully, I'll be going up to NY next week sometime, renting a car or van and driving Annie and her stuff down here. We decided that trying to get her on a plane right out of the hospital was too coercive and stressful; that she needed some time at home to readjust before coming down here - and we're trying to sell her on being here by saying that it's only for a little while, a couple weeks or the summer, until she feels better because, naturally, as she's feeling better she's fussing about leaving NYC.

Nat's email is nathanaelgreenATyahooDOTcom - he can get you Annie's current phone number although I think she's having some trouble with the whole mechanics of answering the ringing phone and she's refusing to answer the one in the hospital room altogether.