Anytime now and I’ll be summoned upstairs by a remote assist buzzer and asked to murder my father in law.
It’s my father in law himself who’s put in the request for the “hit “ as it’s called in the assassination business, Assisted suicide is the polite way to put it , but it’ll basically entail myself either throttling him or suffocating him with a pillow. Neither of which I’m especially excited about. He has mentioned me clandestinely wrangling a fistful of his seemingly ineffective sleeping pills off his missus with which he could perpetually drown his sorrows with a soothing glass of whisky , but she’s wiser than the both of us and those little goodies are kept well away from all our grasping hands.
It seems a pity.
I’m called up several times most nights , we’ll stare at the walls as he prays for his clock to run out. Formerly brutish in strength, but not demeanour, my old mate has seen better days , that’s for sure. The shit list , in chronological order goes something like this : prostate cancer , shingles , Ross river fever , stroke , Parkinson’s disease.
Add that to a goodly dose of age and it’s amazing that he’s still existent.
If you’d known him before, you’d understand. A gentleman foremost. A father , a mate , an entertainer, a boxer , a diver ,a surfer and the sort of fella that everyone wants to be around. Maybe my best male friend. I’ve never , ever heard him say a bad word about anyone . Ive never heard a bad word about him spoken by anyone either ....sounds fantastical , but it’s true.
As an entertainer he was in demand . Professionally and as the life of any party. Toured with one of the world’s foremost talents , physically intimidating his opposition in the ring , fed his family with his skills in the ocean. Now he’s immobile and diminished.
I’m not sure what’s worse - the disease or the medication. Despite being utterly lucid and functioning as mentally sharp as you or I , he’s visited most every night by visions and apparitions. Ghosts are his companions when the lights are dim.
You think I’m joking ?
Ghosts are there for him when everyone else is asleep. His hours are similar to that of a dog , not governed by day or night , sleep when it’s quiet or when it takes him. Awake during the long , lonely hours when the human spirit is at its lowest ebb. That’s usually when I’ll get the call . A man such as this has his pride and residual strength, so you know it’s genuine when he needs assistance. Even if the assistance is just to get through the night.
The ghosts are literal. I used to humour him as though they were a product of a pattern of the wallpaper or a show of the light , an illusion. It’s no illusion, they’re real to him. Totally sober , utterly lucid , he’ll watch the ghosts form an orderly queue along the wall of his bedroom , waiting for him to take the next , final step.
Are they real ? They’re real as far as he’s concerned. Real enough to make him unafraid and impatient to leave the world that you and I believe is all important and all consuming. He’s not scared. Quite the opposite, he wants to go .....he wants me to help him go.
It’s strange , my own father and myself have always been very close , but we’ve never had that much in common. I lose myself in nature and the immediate realities of the world , he’s way more cerebral and devoted to the intricacies of technology. I’ve always wished we had more common ground to share, now we have something in common. Something to discuss on an even footing.
It turns out that my grandfather, his father in law , asked for his help in dying also.
Unlike my father , at least I’m not being asked to shoot anyone ....small mercies.
You know your life ?
Yeah , the life you’re currently enduring, suck that shit up like a vacuum cause it’ll be you that’s waiting patiently for the disinterested nurse to wipe your arse when you’re near the end of the line .
And the end of the line is way closer than you think.
Get stuck in.
You want to do something ?
Do it NOW.
Blowin feeling forhim and you ...went thru this same scenario last year with my mum,watched her slowly succumb to cancer and it felt like it took forever ...but she was all for having contol over her death when the time was approaching but being in a nursing home at the end was a far cry from thinklng she would just pass away in her sleep.
So over medicated to keep her alive for another day /minute was so demeaning...she eventually died in the exact opposite way she wanted......i wish i had whispered something to her nurse weeks before....
Simba , sorry to hear of your loss , mate.
The laws concerning euthanasia really need to be addressed. People suffer needlessly.
Jesus Blowin that was moving.
I was “lucky”that my father had a massive heart attack and was gone before he hit the floor. Inconveniently on the other side of the world but he was an organised man and had left clear instructions on what he wanted to happen if something eventuated.
We had often had the conversation about what I was expected to do if he was incapacitated. So glad that I never had to deal with him deteriorating.
Sorry to hear your of your loss Simba, we really need to get better at this.
Yes we do cause its inevitable,everyone should be given the chance to end there lives with dignity when the time comes.....
Yeh, even those 'disinterested' nurses. Not to mention the cleaners, in fact all the ancillary staff. Even the ones who are on oh so dramatic, blowin's despised 'immigrants' hit list. A lot of who won't even be able to pay for their funerals. And, who wouldn't mind spending their lives surfing and boxing. Boxing's so good for you too, such a noble pastime, I mean look at Mohamed Ali!!! Anyway, someone's gotta do the hospital thing, many for their whole lives, graveyard shifts, day after day, year after year, dealing with way, way way, infinitely worse. Including the emails about efficiency, about simple economics. Privatization. Contracts. Amalgamation. Making a quid above all else. Still, those oh so clever and smarmy, loving, caring buybacks will save them!
I've worked in palliative care, I'm qualified to. Got some deluxe references! Should see the ones who die bankrupt, totally alone. Many who just slogged it out, for a pittance their whole lives. Doing the stuff no one wants to do, but that has to be done. So the buybacks can happen. So the cameras can be fixed. Imagine a poor hot surfee trying to surf, trying to perform without a camera! There's those who fight death to their last scream, terrified to the end. It can drag on. The staff see it all. Like the pay cuts. There's always worse.
When I worked as a hospital cleaner for a while, so I could surf, they called you a 'wardsman'. One job was cleaning the 'morgue'. Where they kept the bodies, till the autopsy and burial. Weird smell. Took days to get it off you, no matter what acids and chemicals they gave you. I used to surf after work, out in the desert. Pointer land. Some nights, having cleaned the morgue, I would wait till everyone had gone in, or I'd feel bad about maybe attracting a fish. Always just one more. Paddle ins to the moon would have you on full alert. The smell of death, and I'd often think WTF. The waves though, amazing, deluxe waves. And you had to go to work next day.
If I paddled in, in the dark at the place they put that monument, sometimes, well often, I mean I surfed their for decades, I would sit at the base of the cliff. Never thought to make a movie about it. And I'd contemplate dying in the rocks, among your friends and family. Your crime, being on good 'ol uncle whitey's hit list, being in the way of his money making. 80,000 years of being conditioned to love the earth like your own being. An unrivaled 80,000 year success story. Dying in the rocks, listening to the screams of terrified children, the screams of loved ones being raped and defiled, copping a good 'ol fashion reamin', because good 'ol uncle whitey designated them as vermin, non human, or as 'whores and sluts'. So I'd spend time at the base of that cliff, that is close to that other cliff where it happened, trying to fathom the disgusting, despicable horror. To try and fathom what that means to the survivors, and their kids. That cliff actually got used, well, 'dignified' as a dump, They used to just push all the 'rubbish' over the cliff. Its still there if you know where to look. You can try to fathom it, everyone should, but the truth is, if you've never eaten an apple, you won't truly know what it tastes like until you have,
I even dug graves in the desert for a while, it was part of the job running the caravan park. They had to be dug by hand, as a sign of respect then. Dug heaps for people that I knew as well. It all had to be done and timed perfectly, so they wouldn't crumble or cave in. Then on cue I had to hide in the bushes, as the burial mob came and set it all up, and everyone rolled up. I could tell you some ludicrous stories. They had no idea I was there at all, right under their noses, a lot of them. No idea at all. I heard some amazing shit. About the dead. I won't say, or it would be disrespectful. Still, the ceremony, in the name of God, and of course Jesus, would sound fine. That's the truth.
Matthew 12, 13.
'Then Jesus went into the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves. 13And He declared to them, “It is written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”'
But then, Jesus is a stickler for the Truth. Good luck with that! Then I had to fill the graves in, when everyone had gone. Out in the desert. Deluxe waves would be good after that. 'I'll get a good one, a bomb for ya.' Especially if you knew the people in the graves.
Boxing aye, so bad for your health in the long run. Guaranteed road to injury. But I ran into Pete again a little while ago. Not that Pete, but I saw him at the jetty the other day though, working, looking after some lost Nunga kids, staying at the 'halfway house'. We had a good talk again. 'Halfway' to where? About as bad as it gets. No, this was the other Pete who trained the Australian light heavyweight champion. We have good talks. He's paid the price though Pete. Back, shoulders, fingers, wrists, hands, knees. But then there's Antonio. I trained his kid for ages. Mentored him, got him qualified too . Antonio was something else. A Nunga legend. But he was in that era, couldn't cope with the blatant racism, and the horrific aftermath, or, what was left of his family. Couldn't just 'move on'. They said he would have won Gold. But he turned pro, needed the moolah. Had one pro fight, knocked the Commonwealth Games gold medalist out in the first round. And disappeared. They reckon he was the best of the best. He did some 'work' around the traps. Now he's an awesome dad, his kid worships him. You never know.
Truth is all important, He reckons though.
Still, move on, the cameras are down, and the poor dog's...
When you're on the straight and narrow you make some really good points. However, as far as I can tell, Blowin has never been pointedly disparaging or otherwise in his comments about migrants . . . he has raised valid concerns around population pressure and impact on social capital and his research and dedication to the topic is very interesting . . . as is your dedicated and broad knowledge on social injustice issues pertaining to indigenous Australians. It's all good . . .and hopefully we never stop learning and giving quarter to different perspectives and sharing the knowledge.
Sorry to hear Blowin, hard times made even harder.
Personally i support euthanasia.