Monday, January 14, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: I Deserve a Say

"I deserve a say. I have a right in this because I’ve spent the last forty years saying I don’t. When you wanted to enlist, I said it was your choice. When you didn’t want to get married, I said it was your choice, and so I slept in hospital parking lots every time you broke your stupid arm, because I couldn’t go in, because you decided. When they said the water was going to rise and you said the media exaggerated, I listened to you and said it was your decision, because secretly I figured if you were going to drown then I might as well too. So it was your decision.

"Not this one. Not this one, because of all the other ones. Because I love and you suck at making these decisions. So no, you don’t get to go to the doctor alone tomorrow, and if he says there are options, you don’t get to ignore what they are, and if they hurt, you’re going to grit your teeth, because for forty years I’ve grit mine. Your decisions aren’t going to be my mistakes anymore. I have the right. I deserve a say, and I say we’re setting the alarm for seven because your crippled ass has an appointment and I like coffee before I drive."


  1. Good for him! (I got the impression this is a same-sex relationship for some reason.)

  2. I also got that impression and I also approve.

    More than that, I'm continuously impressed by how much you've been conveying in such short little passages lately. Both Friday’s piece and this one hit hard with the depth of concrete “this is the reality of sharing your life with someone” details they’ve shared. It’s really amazing.

  3. I don't remember making your privy to these details about my life! Like seeing him an attractive grey shade, wheezing that he was fine and didn't need to see a doctor on the first, second and third time his lung collapsed. Like him refusing the go to hospital when his bowel ruptured (though I over-ruled him). These days I ALWAYS go to the doctor with him. And will go to the pre-admission clinic next week, and into hospital on the morning of his next surgery. This piece is an uncomfortably close match - but brilliantly captured. Thank you.

  4. The "forty years" part made this go from relatable to harrowing for me. I did this for ten years, and that was bad enough. People love to go on about "choices" and "freedom", but I find the ones who bang on about that the most aren't willing to see that the consequences of their choices don't just affect them. Some stuff has to be done as part of a team.

  5. Good one John, you're making me (and others probably), think. And to be honest I'm not sure what I think. Some of my sympathy goes with the narrator but I also find myself irritated with them. Why did they stay quiet for so long?


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