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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Bad to Worse

Well, I survived three solid days of stereology. It was tortorous. But I grudgingly admit that I learned a lot.

And I made it into DC last night. This city confuses me: Letters! States! Numbers! I have no clue where anything is with their street system. But my hotel is right next to the Treasury and the White House. I think a drunken flicking off of Bush may be in order.

So I finally make it to the "fun" part of the last month - after the frantic image analysis and data collection and poster design and stereology crap, SFN really is fun - and I go out last night. Of course I do, it is Friday night and I'm in DC! Woo!

When of course I start getting phone calls from my mom that I don't hear. I finally pick up when it is my dad since I'm outside the bar at that point. I am not very nice. Apparently my grandfather (on my mom's side) has died. This is not unexpected, he was in a nursing home and pretty much lacking in cognition and not eating or anything. But for fuck's sake, Friday night at SFN? How do people expect me to react to that sort of news in that circumstance?

So I'm fucked. I have to leave the conference, but I'm not leaving DC until tomorrow morning, when I'll drive to Philly, switch out my accumulated dirty underwear for clean, pick up a black suit (I have three) and drive right out to the hell on earth that is Long Island. LI with my psycho-under-the-best-of circumstances relatives made worse by death. And my grandmother, who I never get along with and who has lung cancer and who is unbearable no matter what. It isn't the "family" so much as her. And I know I'm not a very good granddaughter or niece or anything like that. I know there are reciprocal feelings. But this is a family who has gotten into actual fistfights at diners post-funeral (yes, diners: Long Island Reform Jews here). The funeral is Monday, shivah will go through Friday but I don't think I'll stay that long.

I hate this. I suck at dealing with these things. To me, it was like he was dead ages ago, when I realized his higher function was basically gone. I don't know if that is a bias from being a neuroscientist for too long or what, but I define life by thinking and so tome he's been dead a long time. But to everyone else, it is fresh and awful. And I hate emotions and that is all funerals are: a chance for the living to have this orgy of feelings and be reinforced. It isn't about the dead person at all. I don't want to be around people and be consoled and hugged and asked how I'm doing. I want to be left alone. I don't want to cry or wail or break glasses or throw a fit and I am wholly incapable of dealing with those who do. I am totally useless at interacting with my fellow human beings under these situations and I've never been sure why. It is like things that usually bring people together drive me farther away from them and into my own head. I wonder if I was born without something that everyone else has. Like a soul. Because normal people aren't like this.

In lighter news, I've posted my Halloween pictures (finally!) at flickr. Yeah, I was a pre-Feminine Mystique housewife and that pill bottle is labeled "Mother's little Helper". I don't have too many pictures. I suck.


Blogger Tiff said...

don't beat yourself up too much. I have a very similar reaction to death/funerals. so, be comforted by the fact that if you have no soul, neither do i...

2:31 PM  
Anonymous courtney said...

what tiff said.

8:45 PM  
Blogger The Retropolitan said...

What Courtnet said Tiff said.

10:38 PM  

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