I have been doing yard work since 7AM. My house is clean and I have washed and waxed the car and both our scooters. I gave the dogs baths and even took out the trash. I am running away by any means possible. Its only 1:20PM and there is still too much day left... or maybe not enough.
My friend is dying. I wrote about saying good-bye to him, but even then... I had my fingers crossed. I was in denial. Since that day I have made daily deals with whatever deity would listen to let him have the full 2 years or so the doctors spoke of... or longer; to let them be happy years, good years.
When he returned home from our visit in March, he got hit with the horrible shock of his
monster wife asking for a divorce. Never mind the reasons... could there be a possible good reason to leave a good man? a dying good man? She had already found him an apartment; so in stunned silence he moved out of his own home. That same week, following his chemo, he returned to that empty apartment.
My heart broke right along with his and daily since then I have begged him to come live with us. To be in a house where there is laughter, where kids wander in & out with their friends, where life is always happening. He goes back & forth between agreeing to come and holding on to the hope that his wife will 'come around'. He is in denial too. He isn't ready yet to let go of the life he thought he had... or even the end of life he thought he would have.
This morning he found out that the last 2 rounds of chemo did nothing helpful. He said “Guess I'm walking the green mile now... doc says at this point 6 months would be considered a long time.”
So today I will keep moving... so this horrible truth wont catch me. He is out of time.
Tomorrow I will find a way to make him come be with us.
This is a piece written for him from a long time ago, back when we were both young and foolish; he more foolish than I... but there is something 'full circle' about the way it feels when I read it today.
Under The Bridge
I’m afraid I’ll go crazy he tells me; it’s already made me half mad. I'll find you, wherever you go I whisper.
He assembles the tools of his torment with the precision a lifetime will bring; Smooth movements belie shivering need as the table is laid for the rite. Mad cleric focused on the flame, he murmurs impatient prayers over corrupt communion. As the moment draws near, he turns to give me that questioning look; seeking absolution.
Keeping my part of the bargain I avert my eyes but soon morbid fascination seduces my gaze back to the macabre ballet of his hands, each movement a perfect part of the dance, no effort is wasted; flawless.
In funeral hushed silence I watch as the elixir is drawn and the last drop pirouettes on the tip of the spike. He lashes his arm, hurried now like a sailor long gone ties his boat to its berth. A vessel rises in sacrifice and he skillfully pierces the gaunt offering. The poison infuses. Skin pale, eyes lost , his limbs lank as the needle dangles from his arm like a flaccid harpoon.
Now it is my part of dance as I move across the room to feel his breathing, to hold his body as he leaves its bony cage.