WEOWE — Book1 — Ch4 — Make Yourself at Home
For 2 years after the incidence between the mother and the father of the son, the son was placed in foster care. The foster parents knew how to raise children, so the only thing that the mother could complain were the dirty long nails. The son’s manners were refined. He read and wrote well for his age. He knew the lyrics to old songs and sang them. All these put a smile on the mother face. She had expected the worst, but the devil left him alone. Even now as he is back in her care, there is rarely a day gone by without her being pleasantly surprised by something new coming from him.
The mother receives a call.
“…We had been visiting the gentleman,” the lady at the other end of the call is referring to the old man.
“…But he has been refusing our visits for 2 weeks now… He really needs help… but… but we just can’t …” The lady continues.
“That’s enough. I got things to do. Bye!” The mother replies. The conversation ends.
The old man, the mother, and the son have made no contacts for 2 years. The old man is now wearing vision aid for the bad eye and walking aid for the bad toes, but those aids are just way too clunky and disruptive. The cashiers’ job has gotten ever more complex and active, so the old man is now the greeter or in actuality the exit control for the naïve sticky fingers. The fat around his body is no more wobbly. It is solid and thick. He has gotten lazy. No, that’s the wrong way to say it. Day by day, he is becoming ever more disabled. Yes, he is the contrast to the son, and he unpleasantly surprises everyone everyday.
All this is making him ever more depressed. They weigh down on him making him capable of doing only the straight forward tasks. Clean pots are piled on the stove-top. Dirty pots and dishes are buried in the sink. This is too complicated to solve for him. Urine and feces splatter the under side of the toilet seat. A thick clay is formed at the bottom of the toilet. These take too much afford to clean. Dirty clothes are on one pile, and clean ones are on another. Only binary systems work for him. Some of the son’s toys are still on the ground. The old man leaves them alone. They are memories of happier times. Things just pile on top of each other. Even the walls have abandoned spider webs gathering dust.
There is never an urge to help a hungry person, but there is never a choice not to help the sick and the helpless. The mother and the son kept away from the old man because they don’t want to get hurt. Life is too good for any disruptions. The son is old enough to take care himself when the mother is at work. The mother is still having a hard time making ends meet, but she gets by. The future is hopeful. The capacity is there, so she visits the old man.
“Oh~~~ Hey~~~!!! Long time no see!!! Come in!!! Make yourself at home…” The old man says with eyes wide open.
"I heard you have been turning people down,” the mother says as she walks in.
She sits down on the sofa and watches the old man limping to get her water. She thinks he looks like a war veteran from the movies, the whiten eye, the bad feet, and the overall ruffled look. She stands up to look around and remembers how he was meticulous in keeping the place up. In what was once her room, she sees a pile of clothe on the bed and another on the ground. She opens what was once her closet. It looks the same as the day she left with hangers still on the rack.
She remembers the suggestions say to start with the small things and frequent short visits to make old people’s place welcoming. Don’t act aloft or subordinate. Be equals and ask for something in return other than money.
“Fucking codependence relationship building,” the mother says to herself.
She hangs the clothes in the empty closet. She finds a bin and puts the dirty clothes on the ground into it.
“Make the freaking place welcoming to others,” she says to herself again.