It was a busy Spring. I was alone, taking care of Wilson, for over three weeks after our caregiver disappeared. It took awhile before I was up to interviewing another parade of wackos, degenerates & mouth breathers! Fortunately, After calling nearly everyone on the list, I found a terrific young woman. She has been with us for two months now. Wilson and I both like her. She cooks, helps with errands, and has a sense of humor. That third quality is really important to both of us, even though Wilson rarely laughs. He will smirk on a good day and I’m gratified. In the old days, he would leap into a doorway wearing a mask, lifting his shirt. Or walk by quickly, shorter with every step, like he was going down a flight of stairs. Sight gags to break up the day, or startle me out of my wits. I miss that. Now, I’m the one trying to entertain him. I’m just not as good at physical comedy…especially now that I’m always in so much pain. So all he gets is my stream-of-consciousness blather, or my singing, which is his favorite. My repertoire is as varied as it is peculiar, so I’ve not managed to bore him yet. (However, one time I was regaling him with some amusing anecdote from maybe 20 years ago when he interrupted me by saying “You told me that already”. First whole sentence in months, and it had to be that! I’m repeating myself? Amazing. He can’t remember to spit after rinsing, but he remembers something I told him 20 years ago. The brain is a truly mysterious thing.) Anyway…things are going along much the same. He hasn’t drawn anything since February, and is still pretty frail but we keep going. I admitted him to Laguna Honda Hospital for three weeks in late April. When I returned home that afternoon, I literally collapsed into bed, remaining there for the whole time save for visiting him three times, and going to the doctor twice. I had been feeling exhausted for nearly a year, and though I had lab work done last November, no one paid any attention to the results until I could no longer walk without a walker, was in magnificent pain, and couldn’t stand in the kitchen long enough to even fix anything for myself to eat during those weeks alone. Turned out, my Thyroid had stopped working! No wonder I had been feeling like I was dying. I also became allergic to Ibuprofen, racing to the ER when I awoke with my face & right hand swollen. I was unrecognizably disfigured. I’ve been taking Thyroid meds, which have helped some. I was beginning to think I was going to be fatigued like this forever, but I’m hoping once they get the meds right I’ll return to my former self, and have more energy. It takes ALL of it to take care of Wilson, so I need more, please! He suffers if I suffer, since no one else takes him for a walk, or out around town. So I am trying to take him out on my good days, for sure, so we don’t turn into a couple of hermit trolls who glow in the dark.
Patrick Rosenkranz’s biography, Volume One, is out now. “Pirates of the Heartland-The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson” is well researched, well written, and is filled with interviews & photos & his drawings. To see a video about it, just go to YouTube and type in Pirates in the Heartland. It’s got some terrific video of Wilson in it. I loved hearing his voice as it used to be. He speaks so quietly now I’d almost forgotten what his booming voice and rapid fire delivery sounded like. Made my heart skip a beat.
The Zap Anthology will be out in the Fall.
Thank you to those who have sent donations to the Trust! It gets low sometimes, which is really scary. It pays for our phone, Internet, cable, special supplies for Wilson, and everything else besides rent, food & utilities. We would be cut off from the world, wearing dirty clothes, if not for all your help. It would be quite dismal. Instead, we have Netflix & Hulu streaming, and Pandora so Wilson can listen to music at breakfast every day, which he loves. Again, thank you.