A few seconds pass and I remember that Dad wanted us to make a Taco Bell Border run before coming home.“So we should skip lunch and take you to the hospital, right,” I say. “No, no – it’s fine. Pick up four tacos and come home when you are done shopping. I’m in no hurry.” Uhm, what? The doctor wants him at the hospital, what does he mean no hurry?
“You know - let me call Desi Brother,” I say and check my watch. My brother is not an early riser and a notorious lover of sleep, but this seems like an emergency. And my brother is the one who can really reason with Dad. “Why? Don’t disturb them,” Dad says. Is he nuts? “Dad! You are having issues walking…and weigh 200 pounds. How am I going to get you into the car? And it’s cold outside - what if you get chills or something.” Dad pauses and finally says, “Fine – call your brother.”
I hit three on my speed dial. As soon as my brother picks up I say, “Sorry to wake you,” and retell the situation, including the Taco Bell order. “You’re an idiot,” my brother says. “There will be no stopping at Taco Bell. I don’t care what he thinks. Go to their house and we’ll meet you there in 30 minutes.” It is rather off-putting and funny at the same time to be reprimanded by my younger brother for Dad's antics. I am just the messenger fighting panic.
“The car needs gas,” I reply. “Get some and call when you get to the gas station. We’ll leave our house. Why are you even entertaining his Taco Bell obsession when he needs to go to the hospital?” Desi Brother demands, he has always been the calm, diplomatic one. And he seems a little annoyed with me. “Because you know how Dad is when he is fixated on something. And frankly, I cannot deal sometimes.” I cannot deal with the possibility that Dad is sick, too. And I kinda think Dad can't either which is why he is okay with dilly dallying to the hospital.
I am skilled at over committing myself and biting off more than I can chew. For the first time in my life, I think whatever is going on with Dad’s health is bigger than all of us. I have made a life of being a super volunteer and getting overly-involved with friend’s problems so I don’t have to deal with my own shit. But I think now, this will be the first time I cannot break through the invisible self-made glass that has been constantly holding me in an encapsulated place. And it is going to a long time of hit, hit, punch, punch, slowly chipping away, making small fissures in the structure. A slow tearing the glass wall down so I can start over again.