Cazzie David, burgeoning comedy star and daughter of Larry David, explains why she won’t leave her dad home alone. Her web series, Eighty-Sixed, is streaming now.
According to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center, Americans age 18 to 35 are now more likely to live at home with their parents than ever before. I’m part of that faction—I moved back into my dad’s house right after graduating from college and have been there for nearly two years.
When you move back home, you’re quickly reminded of all the pros and cons of your earlier life. (Pros: free food, no rent, and an overall feeling of safety. Cons: not being able to smoke weed wherever you want.) However, none of these factors explicitly contributed to my decision; I’m living at home as long as I can because I want to spend as much time as possible with my dad before he dies.
Yep. He’s dying. No, he is not sick—nor has he been diagnosed with anything. Not yet, anyway. But some day he will die, because everyone dies. So every moment with my father must be cherished. Yes, he’s in great health and will, hopefully, be 130 when he passes away, but it doesn’t matter. He’ll go someday. It is 100 percent going to happen because no one has ever not died before.
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This seems to be one of those things that people “know” but don’t really know. They generally understand that the people they love will die, but they must not get it deep down, because if they did, I think they’d be behaving more like me: spending every possible moment with their parents and panicking about their upcoming passage to the other side.
My dad sits on the couch almost every night watching a movie from the ’40s. I find old movies boring because of my age and advanced ADD, but I’ll gladly, for aforementioned reasons, sit next to him and watch him stare at the screen.
He’ll say, “It’s Saturday night. Why don’t you go hang out with your friends? Go do something.” I’ll tell him I can do that whenever, but “how many more times am I going to be able to sit next to my dad as he watches a movie?” He’ll reply, “What are you talking about? We do this every night.” And I’ll think to myself, “Yeah, every night … until you die!”
So I continue to behave as if my dad had a terminal illness. Every time he gives me advice or says something funny or intelligent, I’ll start to cry a little inside because he’s going to die and won’t be able to tell me those things anymore.
Every day he comes closer to death, and I come closer to having to live through my favorite person in the world being gone. I don’t know how to not think about it until the time comes. That’s not really how I roll. I like to mentally prepare myself for the worst. Every day. Preparing.
Watching my father’s last years before he dies is going well so far. We’re spending a lot of time together, and I think he enjoys the company in the house. I’m a nuisance during the times he would want to bring a date home or do anything else that would actually bring him joy before he kicks the bucket. I don’t care, though. Even if he did want to be alone, I wouldn’t oblige because this is about preparing myself for his death, not preparing him. He might be sick of my annoying friends or frustrated that I leave glasses in the sink or that I wake him up by making toast in the middle of the night. But it’s OK if he’s annoyed with me. Because I’m more annoyed that he’s dying in the first place.
For more stories like this, pick up the March issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.