Fiction: The La Di Da Lady Part Nine

Part Nine

If you’re not with me, you’re against me.”

No. Just, just no. Take that phrase, ball it up and chuck it in the bin. Immediately. If I’m not with you, it usually just means I have no energy to muster for forming an opinion. It doesn’t make me your enemy – or your ally. It just makes me completely disinterested.

Okay?

Good.

Ugh. Family fights really take it out of a person. It’s not even ten but S has already had a fight with my uncle about (what else) our parents. She can’t stand that no one else makes the effort to go and visit them, but honestly? I get where they’re coming from. No one wants to spend their Saturday feeling a mixture of exasperation and pity, which is how I usually come away feeling.

S feels bad for our parents, I know. She thinks (probably correctly) that they’re lonely and feel abandoned. I feel bad too. They’re my parents, they’re mostly good people. They were always self-absorbed, which they passed on to us, but that’s not a sin. It’s just a vaguely annoying personality trait.

Wait, what was I saying? Oh yeah – I’m too lazy to give my opinions about this whole mess. I’m not on my uncle’s side and I’m not on S’s side and I really would love to not be a part of the equation at all. I hate the way I inevitably end up stuck in the middle because the two of them refuse to speak to one another and think it’s perfectly sane and rational to use me as a telephone.

The Hurricane’s barely talking to me either today – I think she can sense that I don’t agree with her and her crusade because she’s been slamming things around while she gets ready and not ten minutes ago she announced to the flat at large that

If you’re not with me, you’re against me.” And then she carried on in that vein until I tuned her out. Typical black and white Hurricane S. There’re only two paths in life and if you pick the one she’s not on, well you’re headed for hell.

Sometimes I wonder how we’re related but then she does something as spoilt as I generally am and then I can see it again. Right now, for instance, she’s having a tantrum over her shedding stippling brush and demanding that I give her mine. Uh, no.

It’s unhygienic to share make up products and it’s a 30 second longer job to re-purpose a different brush to do her bidding. She can deal.

Besides, half the patients in Mom’s ward have been unaware of what’s going on around them for upwards of ten years. No one’s going to judge her bad make up unless she decides to take a bedside selfie – which S would never do because she does possess an ounce of decorum and sense unlike some of the girls I know from school. Last week I saw someone take a funeral selfie and all I could think was… really? This is why the older generations think we’re all nuts and heading towards breaking the world (in the bad way).

I’m not a selfie person, myself. That’s mostly because I’m not the greatest fan of my face but also because when I look back at photos – I already know what I look like. It’s whatever else was around me at the time that I’m not going to remember which is why all that becomes the focus of my photographing.

Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not good at taking photos. I just have opinions about how to do it.

Oh, S is finally ready to go. Into purgatory we head, punishing ourselves yet again in an effort to feel righteous.

^^^ That’s not mine. Some geeky girl in school wrote it down in her notebook and it’s stuck in my head ever since. Can’t remember her name, think it started with an N. Whatever, if she wants to sue me for copyright violation, I welcome her to. I have legit nothing to my name except fancy clothes and make up, all of which are used.

I’m in one of the Comfort Rooms – that’s what they call the rooms kept aside for family of long term patients who are having breakdowns. I pretended I was having a breakdown to get away from Dad and S, but really all I feel when I’m in that room with its beeping machines is pointless.

Mom is gone. A stray plug being pulled would stop her from breathing just like that and there’d be nothing they could do to get her back. She’s functionally brain dead, can’t breathe, can’t anything. I don’t even know if her soul is still in her body and a part of me is terrified to even think of the answer.

Every time I look at that too-thin body, I feel this overwhelming sense of wrongness. I don’t feel like I’m looking at my mother in that bed. Not like I did right after the accident. I feel like I’m looking at an old, faded photograph. It should be her but it’s not. It looks like her, but there’s something off.

That’s not proof of anything though. I look at the man glued to her bedside and there’s nothing left of my father in him. He’s turned from a charismatic, powerful man who’d fill up the room to a bleached white, drained husk.

Mom and Dad were always the most romantic love story in any room. They would die for one another, kill for one another. It seemed like they completed each other. I used to think there could be nothing better. Now I’ve seen the flip side. As Mom faded, so did Dad.

Sometimes I feel like those machines are keeping them both alive. That as soon as Mom’s metal heart finally fails, Dad’s human one will follow suit. They could never bear to be apart in life. It would be stupid to think that even death could change that.

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