It was APS, today was, at Folli’s door. Adult Protective Services, APS, if you somehow – and this seems prohibitively unlikely so why should we dwell on it? – come from a place where our wide world isn’t shoved down into acronyms. But before them had come HPD. Yesterday. And before that, on other days, before APS and HPD, there’d been nurses, case managers and case workers, friends and family (distant) and neighbors, HOA representatives, evangelizers and traveling salesmen of dubious and probably fictitious wares, plaintiffs pursuing land claims based on ancient deeds from long-forgotten kings, and cable tv repairmen.
All of them. Even the cable tv repairmen, which is a real-life thing and whom we’re not making up.
O! To answer the door was, for Folli, an ambition, an achievement, and an adventure. We had watched him – closely, constantly – ever since his untimely return, and we knew. We knew his habits intimately, may we run out of adverbs if we’re lying. Almost all days, he was and all he was was a head upon a bed, like his grandfather before him, until spurred to greater – or lesser – action by an intrusion of the doorbell, a beating at the door.
You know, even cable tv repairmen want to get back to their childhood imagination.
Folli’s was right where he’d left it, long ago, on his way out the door, in those thoughtless days when each of us – yes, you – is eager, panting, bursting to leave the leavings of childhood behind. The green grass grew thicker in that part of Folli’s parent’s back yard.
“Recuperate” is a gorgeous word, to us. In form, it is pleasing to the eye on the page and balances the oft-used and more rarely-used letters perfectly. In substance, it is a signifier of growth and rebirth, going so far as to contain “cup” – the very picture of health and replenishment – within it.
Folli’s recuperation, to the extent he did recuperate – happened at his late parents’ house and cracked the ground over where he’d buried his imagination in 1991. And light erupted up from the crack, reflecting off the Temixoch storm clouds in red and amber, echoes and memories of green and extinct shades of orange. And the Recursivites, with their accordioned bodies, fading away down the crack in the earth, Folli remembered them well from his youth and now, in his decrepitude, they guarded from prying eyes the crack of his imagination.
Front door: “Good morning, Mister Folli! We’re here on a wellness check. Could I get you to open the door?”
“No.” As a matter of fact, “No,” Folli said from atop his living room hospital bed, on which he was recuperating. He knew. We knew. If he’d let her in, she’d have been carrying a shovel, probably, her ruse already forgotten in her rush to skip on by the cancer patient for the back yard.
Breathe. Write. Crush up those pills for your stomach tube, Folli. Breathe. Read. Pour your dinner down into your stomach and then begin again.
And the house changed, back to the house of his childhood, before his family had added the back room and lowered all the ceilings, and it kept right on going. Arabesques on the wallpaper wriggled and deepened, grew tentacles and revealed cities, tribes, and monsters. And an oak tree rose up in the kitchen and a six-point buck rumbled by his hospital bed. Outside of time now, the beatings on the front door became a memory, for us, and maybe for Folli.
Isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t that strange? Folli’s recuperation went on…