Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Three Story Life: Curb Feelers

Even cars have proximity sensors now. Maybe just Mercedes, like the big shiny black Florida-plated one next door. Cells have these, although scientists call them contact inhibitors. Mutant cells lose contact inhibition which is why a carcinoma stacks up like Sunday morning pancakes. Most people have sensors, and a "pardon me" usually follows contact. My father, my brother are missing proximity sensors. There is no my space/your space. I've no idea if all men, people of a certain age, Midwesterners are missing this. I'm not sure if they used to know how close they were to another person, and maybe lost that sense. I do know most dogs don't care if your feet are under theirs. The dog likes his nose right on my pajama leg. I learned recently that Alzheimer's Disease can affect a person's ability to know where the body is, so my little brother, when he bangs into me, gets a hug. Dad has always had the willies about affection and hugging stuff. That's why he calls me Creep. It's his affectionate term for me. When I was little, and said, "I love you, Daddy," he'd fidget and then, when I waited for an answer, say, "I love you, too. Creep." I sicced the granddaughters on him as they came along. Michelle was Hot Dog; Rachel, Snickelfritz; and Bianca, Skiddlymooch. Dad gave hugging and close proximity a wide berth. Now I get my heels run over with the electric cart at WalMart, and I'm still working on getting all of them out of the 7x7 kitchen when I'm making dinner. Scott's got the refrigerator open into my back to get the milk. Dad's looking in the pot so closely, I have to change stirring hands. The dog's got his nose pressed to my pant leg. I need to outflank the invasion. Completely surrounded at the stove, listing over the sauteing onions, I pointed and yelled "Out!" at the dog. Everyone left. I have hope. Meanwhile, shopping for the new leather double recliner for Dad, I just shut my eyes when the salesman came jogging past me after Dad in the electric cart "Sir, SIR, you're going to have to back that STRAIGHT out!"

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