There’s a good article in the Washington BetaPost written by a hospital internist who laments the growing disconnect between the reality of death and people living in atomized, urban enclaves whose affluence allows them to warehouse their elderly parents into
chambers of horrors death’s waiting rooms.
Mass urbanization hasn’t been the only thing to alienate us from the circle of life. Rising affluence has allowed us to isolate senescence. Before nursing homes, assisted-living centers and in-home nurses, grandparents, their children and their grandchildren were often living under the same roof, where everyone’s struggles were plain to see. In 1850, 70 percent of white elderly adults lived with their children. By 1950, 21 percent of the overall population lived in multigenerational homes, and today that figure is only 16 percent. Sequestering our elderly keeps most of us from knowing what it’s like to grow old.
This physical and emotional distance becomes obvious as we make decisions that accompany life’s end. Suffering is like a fire: Those who sit closest feel the most heat; a picture of a fire gives off no warmth. That’s why it’s typically the son or daughter who has been physically closest to an elderly parent’s pain who is the most willing to let go. Sometimes an estranged family member is “flying in next week to get all this straightened out.” This is usually the person who knows the least about her struggling parent’s health; she’ll have problems bringing her white horse as carry-on luggage. This person may think she is being driven by compassion, but a good deal of what got her on the plane was the guilt and regret of living far away and having not done any of the heavy lifting in caring for her parent.
With unrealistic expectations of our ability to prolong life, with death as an unfamiliar and unnatural event, and without a realistic, tactile sense of how much a worn-out elderly patient is suffering, it’s easy for patients and families to keep insisting on more tests, more medications, more procedures.
The human impulse to detach from the specter of death is strong, so it’s understandable people would want to get away from it as much as possible. I have vivid memories of being escorted through an ICU ward, so heavy with the stink and sight of dying, mechanically assisted bodies contorted in pulleys and displayed in giant plastic bubbles, their lesions and bloat and sickly droop mocking the thread of life they cling to, that I nearly choke on the most fleeting recollection and search for an expedient distraction.
So I have to wonder how people who are surrounded by death all day, every day, manage the burden — families whose old, dying parents live with them, doctors who treat the husks of humans lingering in the limbo between living and the illimitable void. Most condition themselves to it, having honed a preternatural ability to sever their emotions from the constant reminders of mortality that accompany every dying person like a gloomy chaperone.
So what does this have to do with nurses and game, you ask? I have this running compendium in my hed of my lifetime lays, because of all my memories, it’s the ones spent intimately with lovers I strive the hardest to keep well-formed and prevent from dissipating into the murky mists. This is my tribute to their love. Some of these sex memories are technicolor brilliant, some are romantically hazy, some curiously abstract.
Two lays in particular stick out, both with girls who were nurses. And not GP nurses. One was ER, the other worked in a children’s cancer ward. They saw death, the worst kinds of death, on a daily basis. Sex with them was exuberant, unhinged even. There was little foreplay; they couldn’t wait to get their clothes off and my dick inside them. One would impatiently hike her skirt up and drop her panties as soon as I walked through the door, then back up into my daggering manhood, heaving a satisfied sigh upon penetration, like a junkie who just depressed the syringe.
While it was not, qualitatively speaking, the *best* sex I’ve ever had, it was certainly the most frantic, and the fastest from “hi” to “slide it in”. Both of these girls banged on the first dates. They were not ones for drawn-out seduction dramas in the bedroom of the LMR variety; kisses always followed couplings.
This is what those in proximity to death do — they embrace life more fully, and part of that embracing is total sexual abandon. For what besides sex, the generation pool of life, is a bigger middle finger in the face of death? Skydiving while having sex, maybe.
One of these nurses, it should be noted, had a father who was considerably older than her mother. Almost her whole life the looming of her father’s end must have surely weighed on her. Coyness was not part of her vocabulary. Hungry copulation was.
A familiarity with death might put a stop to escalating medical costs as more enlightened people choose to let their old relatives pass into the ether as part of a natural, unimpeded progression. It might reverse demographic decline seen in the form of childlessness, a condition caused in part by insulation from death’s omnipresence among the privileged class which obscures revelation of their finiteness. Familiarity has other benefits: it inculcates a powerful will to live for experience, to grasp that the doorstep of death misses no one, to apprehend that the luxuries of boredom and ennui are the province of the derelict who has fooled himself to believe forever is now.
But my favorite death-accepance benefit: quick lays!