About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Wild Card, 2006. Winner of "best oral sex scene" - Scarlet Magazine. Amanda's Young Men, 2009. Excerpted in Scarlet Magazine; Juicy Bits. Sarah's Education, 2009. Hit the #1 spots on Amazon.co.uk adult fiction & adult romance best seller lists. Jade Magazine bestowed the best cover art, 2009 award on Sarah's Education. "Get Up, Stand Up!" which appeared in The Cougar Book (Logical-Lust) won me the title 'Story Teller of the Year 2011' at The Erotic Awards, London, UK. Sarah's Education took the #3 spot on a list of the 30 most titillating titles of all time, as reported in English Daily Mail ;Female; Nov. 12, 2012. Debutante, a petite novel for e-publisher Imprint Mischief, (Harper-Collins) pubbed in 2012. I tutor writing students and am a member of the WGC. D.M. Thomas said: Madeline Moore writes great sex without metaphor and that's not easy to do. Kris Saknussemm said: You're a good egg, Madeline Moore. I am a good egg who writes great sex without metaphor! Yippee!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Am I Good or Am I Bad?

First, a little history: Felix and I moved a year ago. We moved down the hall in the same apartment building. We thought it would be an easy move. We thought we could just walk our stuff from one apartment to the other, without the need for all those pesky boxes. We thought wrong.

Our neighbours at the other end of the hall, Leslie and Joy, loaned us two dollies. Those dollies helped save our skins.

Leslie had a stroke a few years ago. He uses a walker and a scooter to get around. Joy seemed perfectly healthy.

So I was shocked to see Leslie, alone, in the elevator and to hear that Joy had gone into the hospital, been diagnosed with cancer, and freakin' DIED, all in a matter of six weeks.

I expressed my heartfelt condolences. Good.

He told me when and where the viewing was happening and asked if I would come. I said "Yes." Good.

He said he'd watch for me.

Friday night Felix and I headed over to the funeral parlour for the viewing.
We had another engagement at eight thirty, so we made sure to arrive at the funeral parlour by eight. Plenty of time, we thought. There were almost no cars in the parking lot. Inside, in Joy's viewing room, we found Leslie and his sister, son and daughter-in-law, and two pesky kids. Family only.
Family was absolutely thrilled to see us.

We viewed the body with Leslie. He had tears in his eyes. He's a Scotsman, so I wasn't surprised to hear that he'd visited her two or three times a day by riding his scooter to the hospital.
I said if I'd known we could have given him a ride. This was true.
Two goods. One for attending the viewing, one for saying we'd have driven him to the hospital. Actually, tack on another good for staying until nine, when the viewing ended. So, all good, score 5.

We did not go to the funeral, even though we knew there would be almost no one there. Bad.

Felix made a Shepherd's pie and we took it down the hall to Leslie's apartment. Good.

Leslie invited us in and we went in. Good.

We chatted for a few minutes. Turns out he's now driving himself around in the car. He seems to have eschewed the walker as well. My suspicion, that he worked poor Joy to death, grew. Bad?

I couldn't stand being in his apartment. It smelled of death. We left. We scurried down the hallway to our apartment, with me hissing about the stink of death. BAD!

Oh, also we gave him our phone number and took his and offered to help him in a jam. Good.

All the way back to our apartment I whispered fiercely about the stink of death and how I couldn't stand being in the apartment and if I'd stayed any longer I would have gagged, I tell you. Gagged. BAD!

I cry - not because Joy died or because Leslie is alone but - because Felix is 19 years older than me and I'm afraid he's going to work me to death or leave me all alone. Bad.

I confess to Felix that I cannot take on this old man. I can't do it! I can't I can't I can't! He points out that I don't have to. I moan about the way the apartment stank of death. He points out that Joy died in the hospital. Right. The apartment probably stinks of an old man who can't take care of himself. I relate to his tragedy only in terms of what it means to me. Bad.

When my mother was diagnosed with cancer I was her primary care giver for an anticipated death at home. We were entirely successful in that endeavour. She was very grateful to me. I was grateful to her, too. It was a success, and so we will give me a Permanent Good for that.

When I returned to my home after she died, I took on the case of an older man, a good friend, who needed back surgery. I arranged for the surgery to take place about a year sooner than he'd managed to arrange. Good.

He made me be his caregiver. I did my best. When he was released from the hospital he called for me to come get him. It took me awhile to get there and when I did he said he'd given up on me and called for another ride. Oh - I had pms, if that matters, which I think it should - I blew up and yelled and screamed at him for ruining my life. Permanent BAD.

I pray that Leslie never phones us. Bad.

Have I weighed the good and bad properly? Given too much good to myself and not enough bad? Or am I too hard on myself, given myself too much bad?

Am I good?
Am I bad?

Am I sane?
Am I mad?

Am I Mad.
I am.

Death Dealer by Frank Fazetta
Angel's Blessing (bart.com)
Devil's Tea Party by Nancy Farmer (nancyfarmer.net)
Angels-Devils-one-in-same by Luke Chueh (lukedchueh.com)


Jeremy Edwards said...

All I can offer is the thought that we should try not to expect more of ourselves than is reasonable. We're people, with needs and with limitations; we're not martyrbots.

Janine Ashbless said...

Well, you're way more Good than I am, hon. You've already looked after a bunch of people, and now you know what it involves you're - not unreasonably - scared.

There's nothing Bad about worrying about the future, or not enjoying the smell of old people.

Like Jeremy says, we've got to accept our limitations. And remember we're not put here to give ourselves up entirely to others (unless you're raised a Catholic, in which case that's exactly what they think women in particular are for, and you've got a fight on your hands to hold onto your sanity).

Madeline Moore said...

Thank you Jeremy and Janine. You make valid points. Jeremy is right when he says we have limitations and I discovered, the hard way, what happens if I exceed those limitations in helping out a friend or in this case, a neighbour.

See, the deal with my mother is that we loved each other. And she was astonishingly brave. And forgiving. If I messed up she'd say, "We're all doing our best."

So I came out of that experience thinking I was a terrific advocate and caregiver for older people and their medical problems. But that wasn't the case. I was a terrific advocate and caregiver for my mother.

Janine, thank you. I am a caregiver by nature (and now, in a relationship with another caregiver, so we take great joy in doing all sorts of things for each other and we make sure to thank each other for it) so I am inclined to help this poor guy but as you say - I know what's involved. And what good am I to him, anyway, if I can't stand the smell of his apartment for more than a few minutes.

I like the English way. Michael says if someone is terminally ill you visit them once, and if they're still alive you visit again. After that, the person has no real business still being alive so you're off the hook!

And no, not raised Catholic. Or Jewish. But I do have a healthy dose of the oft-overlooked Protestant guilt.