This is a rough one. Maybe too rough to even get into here, but it’s real and happening and I don’t know what else. Devastating, certainly, but also a form of subtle spiritual torture. My mom has been coping with the ravages of old age, and there’s really no way to put it except to state the obvious, which is that things can’t improve. Assisted living facilities will naturally care for and maintain her to the last, but to go by her words (which have been relatively few) it’s all about ennui and despair these days. You can’t do anything except visit, hold her hand, gentle-vibe her and be absolutely powerless. Yesterday she mistook Jett for me and asked, “Are you here to save me?” Last weekend she fell, fractured her right hip. The doctors asked for permission to operate, I gave it and they fixed her up last Wednesday. When you’re 85-plus the ordeal of surgery (anesthesia, pain medication, the general trauma of it all) is tough to handle. She’s made of stern stuff (as I am) but she feels besieged and just wants to rest. Norman Lloyd, bless him, still plays tennis but my mom refuses to walk. A brutal final chapter. In Alan Watts‘ “The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are,” Ananda Coomaraswany is quoted as follows: “I would rather die ten years too early than ten minutes too late.” Dylan actually mentioned this quote as he, Jett and my ex-wife were leaving Danbury Hospital yesterday.