Me: “Hey, Tweak.”
Her bones barely rattle. Tweak is a matted meatloaf on the couch.
Me: “You’re not feeling too good.”
Tweak: “I’m not feeling too well either.”
No, not a meatloaf — a baby bird. A drooling, anorexic sparrow.
Me: “Really? You’re going to go all ‘Grammar Nazi’ on me in your dying days??”
Tweak: “Am I dying?”
Long silence. In the last two weeks Tweak has lost one-third of her body weight. She has stopped grooming. She no longer eats.
Me: “I don’t know.” I pick at my mac and cheese.
Blood tests show that Tweak is not suffering from organ failure. Yet.
Me: “I bought you some Fancy Feast.”
Tweak: “Fancy Feast can suck my dick.”
A vet has confirmed that something is very wrong with Tweak, but they don’t know what.
Me: “Talking nasty is not going to put the weight on.”
Tweak nods at my hips. “You sure?”
I lean into the barb, take it like a gift. The point twists in my heart and flips my smile over. Caregiver’s schizophrenia.
Me: “You want some cream?”
Tweak: “No. Not right now.”
Me: “Oh, Tweak…”
I stab at my pasta, then throw it in the garbage.
Me: “Where does it hurt?”
Tweak: “Just point.”
A gentle, underpaid veterinarian with a smile as big as her student loans will sedate Tweak in the morning, and then poke around until she finds something she can fix. Or not.
Me: “I wish you could talk.”
Tweak: “Me, too.”
To be continued…
5 October 2016, Tolerating Tweak