Poison Is a Many-Splendored Thing
I got there around 2:30PM and she was sleeping pretty soundly. I gave her a peck on the cheek and sat with her and talked a bit in a pleasant manner. After about ten minutes I gave her another peck on the forehead to say goodbye and she woke up. It took her about five minutes to wake up enough to be present and I recited the poem I'd planned to do for her the last visit. She seemed to really enjoy the recital. Then she talked very earnestly, and it took a lot of concentration to hear her. She has talked very quietly for a long time, seemingly deliberately, something which seems to manipulative to me. Kind of a passive "You have to really work to listen to me minion." I am probably a little less tolerant at the moment, as she had an endless list of juxtapositions, "You were the most sincere little child ever, but now..."
Eventually I said something like, "With that I suppose I should go. Funny she wanted to hold my hand and touch my face while she quietly railed as viciously as she could. It made me more tired than sad, more sad than angry. She reminded me why I didn't see her for over six years. I had hoped to go yesterday as I didn't want to be emotionally drained right before doing a show. When I saw her the previous Thursday and she was so out of it she couldn't talk or sit unassisted I was in a bad place for several days.
Her sour and mean mood today actually picked up my mood -- there is some complexity there. I know on a logical level she was acting out and I was the nearest handy victim. Still, she reminded me of what I won't miss rather than what I will miss. I suspect she has also railed on some of the people I told of her situation who called with well wishes. Old family friends and relatives, and afterwards in her talks with me I found she clings to resentments from twenty to thirty years ago which she brought on herself instead of shared and good memories. It's past the time for me to try and nudge her out of behavior which drives people away from her. I had limited success over the years in any case. All I can do at this point is mourn her lost opportunities, and hope maybe I've learnt something.