Home > Observations > Just after midnight.

Just after midnight.

"I need to pee!!!" (translated from Cantonese)
12.07 am.
Grandmother’s yodelling and wailing for the her bedpan again. She’s a frail, fragile thing.
Yes. Thing.

A dried-up cloth doll. A weak, shivering effigy. A statue who’s animated very rarely.
Everyone else ignores her wails and pleas. I do that too.
I used to klump upstairs, pop into her room and ask, "What?" in my most matronly way.
It’ll never work. She’d want my mom or Alice, my maid, and wave me away.
When I leave for work, I wave to her from the front gate. She waves back from the 2nd floor balcony. All I see is a shrunken head, a shock of white hair and gnarled wrist moving right to left. My grandmother spends most of her morning on that balcony; peeping through the horizontal gap in the wall.
Then Alice would wheel her back to the hospital bed which we’ve rigged up in one of the back rooms. Her room stinks of old woman smell; the kind that smells of latex and sticks to the insides of your lungs.
My mom sleeps inside that room every night and spends most of the day there as well.
Occasionally, she gets a little help from relatives.
A long time ago, second aunt came. She tried to help my grandmother with her nappy. She smirked, "How do you do this? Wait for your mother la." My second aunt now comes in the evenings with her family and stays for 30 minutes. She brings food and medicine for my grandmother. I’ve seen their faces when they witness a pee session. It goes blank and hard; like a just-put-up wall. I’m pretty sure that they heave hidden sighs of relief when it’s all over.
It’s good that they turn up anyways. My grandmother grins like a loony bin when she sees all of her children and extended family. She hasn’t progressed to sentimental tears yet. I don’t know if there’s enough grey matter left in her head to know what she’s missing.
But watching her loony toon grin when they turn up is strangely heart-wrenching for me.
It’s 12.49am now.
4 hours and 11 minutes before the next tinny yodel.
Categories: Observations
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