Jan 5, 2011

I told you about the man who'd lost his mind. Who had a stroke, fell into a depression, then disuse and finally now has become Mr. Unwanted. Recently, he was thrown out of a care facility up in Bolinas. He was too abrasive, always insulting the staff, always wanting to see the breasts of the volunteers and nurses.

Ten years ago, fifteen maybe, he was a bon vivant. He was on top of the world. He would come to your house and assume the role of raconteur, tell you about old French movies, tell you about his travels around Europe. Tell you about his fabulous adventures. He was loud and funny and kind. He dyed his hair black. He dressed elegantly, and always with a flourish. He wore berets and Australian outback hats. Sometimes he wore very long scarves. He drove exotic cars: an old Ferrari for example. He seemed to have an endless amount of money but he didn't do anything.

Actually, that wasn't true. He designed les objects d'art. He made furniture and drew up plans for extraordinary gardens. He had studied landscape architecture but never finished. He never finished anything.

Then a little less than five years ago he had this attack. It followed a car crash on the Golden Gate Bridge. And right near the spot where a close friend of his had committed suicide.

After the attack one side of his mouth had an avalanche. His brown eyes turned white. He decided he wasn't going to walk. He had people running around like crazy. He started drinking. I told you all this. He had women come over and undress, just so he could watch. He would invited people over and while his wife was making dinner he would talk about women he had had affairs with years ago. Or maybe not years ago. There was always an ambiguity. But he would go on and on, about this woman and that. And all the while his wife would be cutting the onions into ever small slices.

They were living in Marin at the time. They had a huge indoor pond with the most exotic ferns. Orginally the idea had been to make it into a hot tub but after the accident they gave that idea up.

And then when his daughter wouldn't bring him wine, he would call the police and try to have her arrested.

Eventually, he went up to Bolinas, but now he's been thrown out of there. He's back in his little room at the bottom of the house: Mr. Unwanted at a dead end. No one wants to see him. His daughter won't take his food down. His wife has stopped cooking. He himself refuses to get out of bed make his way up some stairs and prepare his own dinner.

It's as though he's on strike and now his wife has all but left him. His friends are reluctant to come by. He tells them strange stories, how his family is trying to kill him, how he has millions of dollars hidden away under the seats of his sports car.

But the car was sold several years ago. There's nothing in the garage now. His tools are long gone.

1 comment:

Anjuli said...

such a sad portrait! I think this is the worse demise for an individual- worse than death- to be 'unwanted' and slowly fade away while still being alive.