Sunday, August 22, 2004

Baby, I can't hang upon no lover's cross for you

The local PBS affiliate is running its annual pledge drive now and has a Jim Croce retrospective on. I had completely forgotten about Jim Croce's existence until tonight. Now I'm afraid that David will decide I'm too much of a dork to hang out with if I tell him that I really, really like Jim Croce.

The only drawback to the man's music is that I turn into a blubbering mass of sobbing uselessness every time I hear one of his sad songs. Which, frankly, are most of 'em. I think it's a consequence of growing up with a seven-years-older sister who listened to Croce during the peak of adolescent angst. Looks like a trip to Amazon is in order, just to get this out of my bloodstream.

In other news, I have one patient who's waiting to die at the moment. I've described dying before as being a lot like labor in that eventually the process takes over and the person is no more than a vehicle for the process. What I haven't talked about is the long, long period in the waiting room (as it were) while you all wait for something, anything, to start happening.

We're at that point right now with this patient. Her husband is worn very, very thin, and the hard part is just about to start. Unfortunately, she's not with us in any real sense of the word; she hasn't spoken a coherent word in a year or more, since she was mugged for her purse in a grocery shop parking lot. So it's harder for him; he has to make her come alive to everybody in an attempt to reassure himself that she actually was like that.

All told, I prefer the easier business of a stiff drink and Jim Croce and self-examination to thirty minutes in a room with someone whose loved one is dying.

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