God and Monsters and Eyedrops

When someone is sick, my first response is to have them stay home and watch movies. Yeah, that’s my Master’s degree in Science hard at work.

I was in charge of film selection during the recovery period tonight. As usual, my varied choices:

Obviously, don't have any rights to these. Just the DVDs.

Obviously, don’t have any rights to these. Just the DVDs.

I went top right.

In the original Frankenstein, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0021884/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4

You see that link? Damn, I’m getting fancy. Anyway, it’s the one directed by James Whale, and written by a whole mess o’folks, most notably, the irreplaceable badass Mary Shelley…

Sorry. This is where I break the fourth…wall? estate? pixel? the fourth something here. I was truly in train of thought about Frankenstein, the movie, how Karloff had the weirdest billing…I really had a narrative thread building, I promise. Then, just now, just this second, I got a text from a director from a short film I acted in several weeks ago. A great little project. Female produced and directed. I need to make that known. I’m so glad I did it. But, I was assuming that was a solid past tense, that use of the word “did.” It turned back in to a “doing.” I just found out that I’m needed for pick up shots on Friday night. Initial fret about the pragmatics, but it’s nice to be needed.

Make no mistake, I love to have the work. And this is good work. I’m thankful to have it. Only now, the juggling with chainsaws and eggs begins. To be on set until 1 AM Friday night will mean work shuffling, kid help wrangling, oh, and you wanted to have a romantic life too? That’s adorable. But I’ll do it with a smile. And my kid will get another night with Grandma and all the oreos that those nights entails. Then we’ll all still get up at dawn the next day, because that’s  just how second graders like to  party.

But I’m neglecting Boris. I’m writing this from the living room of my childhood home. I’m pseudo baby-sitting my mother after  her eyeball surgery. I know. Grossest visual in the galaxy.  Ick aside, she needs a friendly through the night, so here we are. Both drinking coffee and watching Frankenstein. My mother is amazing and one of the best people I know. I’m happy to do it. Just like being called to set at the last minute. But, it’s a weird vibe. Being here as a watchdog and imitation nurse. Being a caretaker of a parent in general is a tough gig. All I’m doing tonight is putting in eyedrops and yelling “Don’t bend down!”

 

Like anyone else is claiming a picture of a quilt bag and eyedrops.

Like anyone else is claiming a picture of a quilt bag and eyedrops.

Not to put put the boots to the metaphor too firmly, but it feels I’m the creature coming to care for Dr. Frankenstein. I’m the selfish actor girl, who just asked her mother to hang out with her kid this Friday night, two days after a doctor was just having ocular hockey practice with a fake lens in her eye. Maybe I’m doing it all like the James Whale film. An endearing and captivating central performance, but fast and loose at the edges. I don’t always hold true to the source story, (although come Ms. Shelley, that learning to speak and read by eavesdropping at the cottage door was a bridge too far.) Sometimes, the editing is rough. James Whale, the Jack Smith make-up was incomparable. Those jump cuts though…

I get scared about what I might have to do someday. When it’s not just drops, but large, terrible, unspeakable things. The big bad of watching your mother age.

That’s were I am tonight. Carrying the weights of parts and sickness and guilt. Being here while not being there. Stumbling through sometimes, like a weighty specter, sewn together and leaving some disasters in my wake. For tonight, my mom is fine, and I’m relieved. I don’t know what kind of doctor/nurse/decision maker I can be. I hope there’s enough good stuff stolen from others and stuffed in my corners.  I hope I make the ones in my lab happy. I hope my people find me more creature than monster. And I hope they give me better billing . A question mark. Come on.

Enough typing. Back to Boris. Eyedrops due in an hour.