Reid Harris Cooper (lordrexfear) wrote,
Reid Harris Cooper

Where and How I Live

My father's Parkinson's got him to a state of mostly wheelchair bound, needing constant assistance and care around the time I was 25 years old. At that time in my life I constantly had an inner battle with myself of moving out on my own and possibly feeling crushing guilt for years or sticking around and helping my mother with this very arduous task. It meant changing my father's diapers, walking him from room to room and more depravity then you want to imagine in being a caregiver. It is an unforgiving position, but one I put myself in. I do not regret choosing to stick around, because who knows what answer or outcome was right?

At a certain point my parents were planning to move to Florida and I would take over the nice 2 bedroom with sunken living room and plenty of space in an easy low rent area of Queens (at the time, now its skyrocketed). Unfortunately my father's health was never strong enough for the move, so I stuck around more. When my father passed I was 30 years old, had a well paying job and had just broken up with a long term girlfriend (actually I was dumped out of nowhere without explanation and no true answers to this day, but that's something else altogether and it was never a healthy relationship to begin with even if it lasted months).

My father's death broke something in me that till now I still struggle to recover. It's this unknowing thing, this mental block that even therapy has yet to fully reveal. That well paying job suffered from it though and was soon gone. Money wasn't a huge problem, so after this I could've moved out on my own, but my mom equally needed me. Her health was fine, but she was now a grieving widow and at the time still under 70, so plenty of life still to live.

She also I believe felt a type of guilt because of me taking the burden of dad on my shoulders and then the apartment not becoming mine when they had to stay for his health. Hence having me stay around was basically a ballast for us both. Finding a nice sized apartment in NYC with a roommate you don't want to kill isn't easy. I have best friends and I think if we lived together I would have NO friends within 2-3 months. Parents are different. They might not like the way you live and you might not like their habits, but you've gotten use to each other. You accept each others habits even when they drive you nuts. You'll fight and bite and fight and bite, but in the end you'll come back together. I know this isn't true with many families, but it is with mine.

For the last eight years I've hoped the call would come from Hollywood, or another state. Better yet I would've found the significant other, as my mom has been lucky to do. Then I would fly the “roost” and figure out the craziness of living alone. Although, as my mother now spends most days at her significant others place fairly far from home I have the bachelor life, so it is like living alone with a roommate who comes by once in awhile and having any other roommate who cared about dirty dishes, garbage and sweeping but only did those things themselves once in awhile.

For now and the currently foreseeable future it's a satisfying situation, we help each other out, the rent stays low as she's still a legal resident here 3-4 days of the week, a senior citizen and lived here for 40 years. She keeps clothes here and a bed, so it's her apartment that I get to occupy as her son and it's a working system for all parties. I know that she wishes I found that dream job, that dream lover and went off to that dream life. I also know she understands the reality of both NYC and the world in terms of real estate, employment and finding love. I don't understand any of it, but I know it's hard.

So I live in the same place I was raised. It's slowly become my place, as books, games, toys, and more have taken over the living room, the foyer and the master bedroom that is mine. The kitchen is my domain since I have the culinary training. The financial situation of it all is a bit more complicated. I pay my share in my way and in return I have a roof over my head, which is all some of us truly ask for in this life. A roof, a place to lie your head and some food.

written for therealljidolWeek 17-Blind Box-Topic 1-The Rent I Pay

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