In August, eight months into a prostate cancer diagnosis, my dad was airlifted to Sarasota Memorial Hospital (where Terrence McNally died, he reminded me the whole time) with sepsis and kidney failure as side effects of radiation therapy. He was back on his feet a month later, but didn’t even have to go back to work right away because of Hurricane Ian.
Then in February, two days after my birthday and the morning after my dad’s
(something something the astrology of c-sections), my mother got herself into a cycling accident because she refuses to wear a helmet or sensible shoes. She only hit her head—no broken limbs, no chest cavity caved in by a semi, just a subdural hematoma into a subarachnoid hemorrhage and a skull fracture so small they let it heal on its own. No one contacted us, not EMS or the police or the hospital, because this woman didn’t have emergency contacts set and vomited on her intake forms in the emergency room. I found her using Find My on her iPad, and we’re close to putting a Tile around her neck on top of location sharing.
I did not think this is what my twenties would look like. For one thing, I moved to Florida because of the pandemic. As a teenager, I looked forward to only seeing my mother once a year. December 2019 right after college, I was on a plane to Louisville on Boxing Day. Another thing: my parents are way too young for this shit. My dad just turned 60, my mom is a 64-year-old Capricorn. But between grad school and keeping them alive, I don’t give a flying fuck about theater.
I mean, I’m doing other things. Wonderful, nonmonetized hobbies I’m not great at. Like knitting socks, relearning cello, LARPing I’m Michelle Zauner. And I’m not even being honest, really, since my first associate producer credit is out on Audible now.