Every man is the center of a circle,
whose fatal circumference he cannot pass.
-John James Ingalls. January 1882
It's inevitable (the exploding plastic inevitable daylog perhaps) that I would come on back and mention that after the unnerving sad events of morning, I went home breathing in heavy deep gulps of air, aware of the mistake I’d made by scheduling such an event early in the day. Walked in, saw wife, couldn’t speak much because of the amphibians in my throat. Just wanted to tell her, it's OK, but next time remind me to do this in the afternoon so a stiff drink will be appropriate.
Entropy, fuck off. These are my people.
Said the man on the Clapham Omnibus
Unable to resist the taste of his own spit
He is mostly bile (not guile)
Full of the vinegar that the wine
Of thwarted expectations becomes
And two left shoes for two left feet in addition
So out of lockstep is he with a world
That sails, Horatio, by rising up
Against a sea of troubles
And in doing so, ends them.
Crap day, actually. I usually agree with Ham Jordan’s post-cancer assessment of No such thing as a bad day but I am conferring an allowance for this done Monday.
What I will remember most fondly, strangely, is sitting on the hard tile floor of the examination room as the initial anesthetic quietly slumped down her body to sleeping and as it did talking to our vet. She was giving me some time, and Moo also, and within the sadness of what had been and was to come, we slowly outlined how we each stood on euthanasia for ourselves, not for dogs or cats or voles, nor other humans, but just each of us. She talked of her fear of a body that outlasted her mind. That her Assisted Living Insurance Plan was a small cabin that she would live in on the tundra. When she was too disoriented to know better then by accident and through the door she would head out onto the ice for a final shuffle. I'm going out I may be some time I said in gallows humor as upon the gallows we sat. No, she said, this American lady on a New Jersey floor, Oates knew full well what he was doing. That would be a different matter entirely.
And that led us to Iris Murdoch, one of the great minds of her (or any) generation who lapsed (fell?) into alzheimer's and descended a mental staircase from pinnacle to exit door. I said she must read John Bayley's short, sweet memoir of his wife of 50 years, Elegy for Iris, and then Moo was asleep, breathing easily. And then we killed her, a needle's point just quietly into a left leg vein and as it slowly entered, like the pure heroin I saw kill too many friends so long ago, Moo's chest slowed to its final stop.
Went out into the snowy traffic, face all wet and cold. Breathing deep, hoping not to meet any of the many I know in this town, not ready for the small talk of it all.
Went home to a quiet house, grateful to my dog and my vet. Ordered the Iris book and had it sent to the clinic. Ordered a steak dinner for myself (pasghetti for the kid and salmon for his mother). Threw the bones away.