Whose Child Is This?

you know, hot pants, watching the sideshow that is our aging parents’ lifestyle, i wonder: how is it that these people ever were in charge of our lives? between them, there exists barely a shred of logic or rational decision making. yelling, hysteria, and denial are their lifeblood. it’s like the twilight zone spending time at their apartment.

should we contact the board of health since they’ve made the switch from flushing used toilet paper down the toilet to tossing the soggy and messy evidence of their bathroom visits into the wastebasket instead, where it remains until they remember to empty the trash cans? this, they claim, is an act of overflow prevention due to “old pipes.” i highly doubt if other tenants engage in such unsanitary madness.

how is it possible that every time i visit, i find mold-growing experiments lurking in the refrigerator? these mystery foil-wrapped packages sprout feathery multicolored wisps that waft up from them when i dare crack the seals. and they’re so tiny, there couldn’t have been more than two bites of leftover there to begin with. one time there was a stench so overpowering every time i opened the fridge door, i did a massive cleanout and found the culprit waaaay in the back. a long-forgotten once-upon-a-time pear had decomposed and dripped its remains down through the metal shelf tines. holy mackerel. (yeah, it kinda smelled like that.) there are expiration dates decades old, some of which i am certain they moved from their house to the apartment, well over twenty years earlier.

and the bookshelves. crammed with a weird assortment of titles, like who pushed humpty dumpty? – a scathing expose of the 1960’s educational system. or the complete libretto of german and italian operas, a reference work no one has seen fit to crack in ages. not to mention the random yearbooks abandoned by their offspring. no one’s going to read this stuff. daddy gave up the printed page around the same time he stopped doing the n.y. times crossword puzzles. i haven’t seen mah hoist a book since…hey, i’ve never seen her do that!


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