Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Angels I Don't See PART XI

Parts I-X here

My first night apart from Ric was relatively easy. I was staying at a friend’s house that had flooded, forcing the friend and her husband and daughter to move out while repairs were being made. The second floor, the area in which I was staying, was not damaged.

Though I was not able to sleep that night, I was able to suppress my sadness over leaving Ric by focusing on the fact that Ric had not told me he was positive, thereby producing sufficient anger and suppressing the hurt.

The next morning I turned on my cell phone and checked my messages.

“Your mailbox is full. Please delete some messages” the computer generated voice instructed.

I had forty-five messages on my voicemail. Each one was from Ric and each grew increasingly desperate. Apparently, it was sinking in that I was gone.

“Hey babe, I need you to come home. I can’t find my glasses…”

“Babe, you need to come home. Trotter needs to be walked and I can’t walk her…”

“You need to get home this instant. Trotter is very sick…”

“Babe, I am moving to the Virgin Islands and if you don’t come home right now you will never see me again…”

“Babe, you need to come home. I just stabbed a man…”

The last message, left at 10:47PM and the only one that was true, said “Please come home, I think I’m dying”.

Ego aside, there was no way Ric was going to have a shot at life without me. The only thing he was capable of was creating more fantasies out of whole cloth. If I was to follow through with my plan, it would be a matter of days before Ric passed on. If I was to cave and return to him, I knew I would be his full time nurse. I was stuck between a Ric and a hard place.

He clearly understood that I was gone but he did not understand what that really meant. Therefore the purpose of my leaving – to get him help – was useless. But if I returned home there would be absolutely no incentive for him to seek treatment.

I compromised with myself and decided that I would visit Ric during the day and continue to stay at my friend’s house at night until I received the results regarding my own status. If I was not, as Dr. M said, “the luckiest man alive”, and was indeed positive I would focus on my own health first. But if I was negative I would continue to try and help Ric in whatever capacity I could.

Following my new found plan, I went back to the loft only to find every pair of shorts, every short sleeve shirt and every beach towel strewn about. Ric was standing in boxer shorts, no shirt and holding tanning lotion.

“What’s going on?” I asked, surprisingly calm.

“I’m trying to figure out what to wear to the beach. Should I wear the red swim trunks or the blue?”

He only had black swim trunks. But that didn’t really matter. He continued.

“While I am at the beach, the carpenters will be coming in to install the new cabinets. After they are done, you should join me. We can have a drink and toast our new place”

“Ric, I went and saw a doctor yesterday and was tested for HIV. I told him about your condition and, though he is very busy, he said he would see you immediately. Would you go today? I can take you and we can get this thing under control”

“I am not going to the doctor today! I am going to the beach! There is nothing wrong with me and I have my muscle relaxers to make me feel better”

Again with the non-existent muscle relaxers. Again with the denial that there was a problem.

“What about Friday? Will you go see him on Friday?”

“Sure. But his office better be close to the beach. Is it close to the beach? I won’t see him unless he is close to the beach”

“His office is not only close to the beach, it’s right on the beach!”

The beach. The Hudson. Tomato. Tomahto.

Part XII here

1 comment:

alan said...

Thinking of you...


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