Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In the know

Well, we did it. Becky and I told her mother this evening, and I'm pleased to say neither of us have been wounded. We're also not dead. And as far as we're concerned, not being dead is a good thing.

I met Becky's mother on Monday during a quick dinner and then an hour or so back at her house. I was able to make a semi-good impression. And I say this only because she didn't come at me with a weapon today. Alas, Monday's meeting was disrupted by a lack of insulin syringes. I had insulin. I had alcohol swabs. But the syringes, which I understand are somewhat vital to the insulin delivery system for diabetics, were back at the3 motel. We called it an early night.

Today, Becky and I went back to the house to get some laundry done. Becky's mom, whom I'll call 'Nita, came home and we started kibitzing the moment she walked in the door. I had the opportunity to turn on the charm, cracking the occasional joke and earning a laugh. All was as well as could be expected.

Laundry aside, Becky and I had a goal. We were going to tell 'Nita about the engagement, and Becky was "kind enough" to lay that responsibility in my lap. My beloved was entirely too nervous to get it done, and I, being the "white knight willing to brave any danger for my love," had said I'd take care of it. So I did.

I worked my way toward breaking the news by backtracking, reminding all parties that I'd known Becky for a year before we started talking on a much more intimate level. I spoke of the two months in which we started falling for one another, making good use of the knowledge all seemed to have of Becky's ex-boyfriends. I made it clear that Becky and I are well aware that we've been charging forward somewhat swiftly in this relationship, but that we were going to slow down once we were engaged...and then I let that hang there like an elephant in the room.

'Nita sat there for only a moment before her eyes went wide. She connected all the dots without me having to go into detail. Then I confirmed it with, "Yes, I asked her to marry me." In that moment, Becky took up the cause, smiling and showing off the ring. And 'Nita didn't seem all that upset. She had concerns, but we quelled them. Like what Becky's ex tried to do with his "surprise wedding." Oh, that upset 'Nita a great deal, so I promised her that there would be no phone calls out of the blue announcing we recently got married; 'Nita would be there for it. I also stressed that Becky's nursing education comes before our plans to get married; the only thing that would cause our wedding to occur before graduation is if being married would improve Becky's financial aid.

I came away feeling very good, specifically after 'Nita said that she actually felt much better after having met me. I also felt better, oddly, after she confessed to running a criminal background check on me. I like it when people use their heads while using their hearts. 'Nita was rather pleased that her investigation turned up nothing...as was I.

So now there's the matter of telling Becky's step-father, who's been in her life since she was around the age of two. He's Turkish, and a Muslim, and will probably be less than thrilled she's engaged to marry a nice Jewish boy who's originally from NY. (No, Becky isn't Muslim.)

Alternatively, those whom we've told - Becky's soon-to-be-ex-fellow-employees, for example - were very happy for us, especially after seeing exactly how happy Becky is. I'm enjoying the fact that we're able to spread the news and receive positive responses, as opposed to trying to keep it a secret and getting lengthy speeches as to how or why we should break up.

Now all we have to do is survive our week-long visit to KS. For all I know, we'll be walking into the trailer to a surprise engagement party. On the off chance that that's going to happen, we'll take cash or time cards for WoW or City of Heroes. =D

Be well, all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

These Magic Moments

So many times over this last week and a half in which I've been able to think, Alone at last with the woman I love. And then reality comes crashing in to sour those moments.

A prime example is this cold that's been hanging on to me with what is apparently a death grip. I was getting better, too! It was down to a pesky tickle at the back of my throat. This morning, it seemed to regain strength, and my voice was so deep and scratchy that I could have done a perfect Barry White impression...

...and I think this was actually a plan by her mother, whom I met last night. In her effort to keep us from "fooling around," she renewed my cold so that there couldn't even be kissing.

Another example is our purchase of Iron Man 2. We brought her X-box 360 to the motel, and it worked perfectly last night. Ah, but the movie was released at midnight, so it was just a game last night. Since there was an issue with the A/C, we were given a different room. We hooked the game system up in the new room, and all we'd get was a black screen. Well, it worked last night, so the problem MUST be the television, right? We brought the problem to the front desk, Becky went off to a dentist appointment, and I awaited some kind of aid to figure out what was wrong.

Eventually, some poor man employed by the motel came by to see what the problem might be. He fiddled with the console. He fiddled with television. And when he was done fiddling, he finally took my suggestion of switching units. He schlepped to the room we were in last night, schlepped it back here, hooked it up, resumed his fiddling...

...until I noticed the X-box's power indicator had turned into the RCoD (Red Circle of Death). I apologized for having bothered anyone with this, and watched with a great degree of guilt as he packed up a perfectly functioning television and schlepped it away. Then it was a text to my beloved to let her know her game system was dead...and that she couldn't play the birthday gift I'd sent her in July. (Okay, reality check! I bought her a copy of "Just Cause 2" for the X-box because when she'd visited in May, she enjoyed playing it on the PS3. Since I've already raved about how much absurd fun it is...I didn't buy it for her; I bought it so that I could play it once we're finally living together.)

Oh well. Looks like movie night will occur via laptop.

There is one other moment that...Well, I won't live it down, and it's just too funny not to share.

Becky was lying next to me, and the television was on. I'd been sucked into whatever was on and absently reached beside me to caress her shoulder. Alas, the isolated lump I gently ran my hand over was NOT, in fact, he shoulder. It was her...It was her...It was NOT her shoulder. So there I am, caressing away, when she finally spoke up...

Her: Ummm...Sweetie? You do know you're fondling my [redacted].
Me: Huh?
Her: You hand. It's on my [redacted].
Me: *pulling my hand away* Oh, G-d! I'm sorry, baby! I thought I was caressing your shoulder.
Her: *giggling* Oh, I didn't mind. I just wasn't sure you wanted to get something started.

I assure you, I've wanted to get "something started" during much of my vacation. Alas, this cold, which her mother re-gave me last night...

Y'know, many people have moments that result in them saying, "Some day we'll look back at all of this and laugh." As it turns out, we don't have to look back. We laugh at ourselves now, and will hopefully continue to do so for the rest of our lives.

Oh! And before I go, I received a surprise call last night. Julie FINALLY called, opening up her side of the coneversation with, "You're getting married! Who is this Becky person?" And so I was off to the races, trying to explain as swiftly as possible what's been going on. Unfortunately, Julie's connection was an ongoing nightmare, so we couldn't chat for very long.

The absolute best part of the conversation was when Julie started spouting that which I've had to listen to from everyone who knows Becky. In fact, as the volume was up on my phone, I was able to let Becky listen in. "Rob...I swear to G-d, if she hurts you, I'm going to track her down and hurt in ways she can't even imagine." (Or something like that.) And it had Becky and I laughing, only because I'd heard it a half dozen times myself, but all pertaining to me possibly hurting Becky. At last, she was on the receiving end of the threats!

So there, baby! =P

We'll be on our way back to KS in a couple of days, at which point I'll be at my own computer and better able to tell my tales. Be well, all.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Escape From NY

Look, I love NY. I grew up there, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. But I don't think I'll EVER be able to live there again.

Becky and I left Elmira and made our way to Long Island to visit my father. The route designated by Google Maps took us across the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan, then across the Whitestone Bridge onto the Island. The tolls on these bridges were frightening in three ways. 1: The cost. Since when did it cost $8.00 to cross the GWB and $5.50 for the Whitestone?!? 2: The use of this "E-Z Pass" thing meant having to get into lanes in which cash was accepted, and that led to... 3: Trying to maneuver even a small car was a pain, especially when one is either being cut off or of simply kept from getting into a particular lane. Thankfully, there are still a few New Yorkers who have hearts, and they were kind enough to let poor Becky navigate through the mess that is NY traffic.

Once we were on the Southern State Parkway, which I'd driven for many years, I called Dad to let him know we were close. That's when he flaked out on me for dinner. I had no idea why until the next day, when he explained that a solid commitment from me the day before would have allowed him to arrange for his assisted living facility to allow Becky and I to eat there.

So we visited the area where I grew up instead. Ever carry around a thousand memories that were both good and bad, and then have them all crash in on you? It's a lot of...something. Friendly and malevolent ghosts all haunted me in unison, and the only thing I can say for sure was that I was ultimately happy Becky was at my side. I'm not sure exactly how I would have reacted had my walking, talking antidepressant not been holding my hand.

Since sunset was rapidly approaching, we decided to check into our motel...and discovered we'd reserved a room at what I came to call "The Hell Motel." With all that I was able to see, I'm ultimately glad we didn't have access to an ultraviolet light. If we did, Becky and I would have been awake all night.

Once we settled in, I called my old buddy Bryan. He came around and we went out for "dessert and coffee," a most typical NY ritual. He and I played the catch-up game for a couple of hours, and then it was time to sleep. We were lucky enough to have breakfast with him the next day and continue the game Then it was off to meet with Dad.

My father is suffering. In every way a person can suffer, Dad's experiencing it. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And anyone who has contact with him manages to pay some kind of price, especially my step-mom. She's the most convenient target, and she gets hit with his verbal shrapnel the most. There's little I can do; I simply don't live close enough, and she seems to not feel comfortable to call me regularly to vent. If she did, I'd do my best to help her cope.

When Becky and I left the motel this morning, we knew without doubt that we wouldn't be returning. I played up the remnants of my cold and told management that I couldn't keep the rest of my reservation; I was sick, and we were leaving. Then we sought somewhere else to stay, and everything was beyond our capacity financially. After we'd interacted with my father, Becky and I were suddenly debating exactly when to simply flee NY. We couldn't afford it and Dad didn't appear to be offering any aid to help us stay. But Dad...he was determined that we should all have dinner together, and so we went out. On the way, he slipped me the aid I wasn't expecting...but didn't seem inclined to have Becky and I stay.

So we ate...we said our goodbyes...and then we were on the road, heading back to where she lives.

Exhaustion eventually took over, and that's how it is that I came to be blogging. We stumbled upon a Holiday Inn where the woman at the front desk was rather kind to a pair of "kids" who just got engaged. Becky is asleep at this moment, and I'm going to be joining her very soon. And the only reason I look forward to returning to KS right now is the use of a computer that I'm far more familiar with.

Before I go, I should note that there are things in this post that require something more. But I need to meditate on them and try to make sense of them in my head. I so desperately want to share more, but remain unable until I can find the proper words.

Until then, be well, my friends.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My plotting revealed at last!

The issue with Becky reading my blog regularly is that I was unable to talk about the big plans for Kat's wedding. But now that we are back at the motel after said wedding, I can finally tell the world what was planned, and how it played out.

Way back in May, when Becky was essentially meeting me for the first time, we were already discussing marriage. We'd hit it off so well online...then on the phone...and finally in person, that it seemed marriage was inevitable for her and I. And so it was that she and I were talking with Kat, who makes jewelry (and hopes to make a living at it eventually). The discussion at that time was what Becky would like in an engagement ring. It was fairly simple. Becky didn't like gold; she wanted silver. Real gems weren't an issue; she'd be happy with an artificial diamond, and actually disliked real rubies, since they didn't appear dark enough to her eyes. So the final result was a silver band that held a central "diamond" with a ruby on each side. Then, after ordering Becky to keep music in her ears so she wouldn't hear, I started plotting with Kat to assemble the ring. My lady-love had no idea that she was actively designing her engagement ring.

But when to ask her to marry me? I knew I was going to ask her. I knew I could have the ring assembled at any time. But when, exactly? And how?

Back then, there was talk of me traveling to see Becky at the time of Kat's wedding. The issue there was that I had a couple of surgeries standing in the way. Would I be well enough to travel? Well, that was easily fixed. The surgeries weren't urgent, so I could schedule them around other events.

As the time passed, I was more and more sure of when I would ask, but the how still escaped me. Yes, I'd be seeing Becky and attending the wedding. And in private chats with Kat, we flirted with the idea that I'd wait for the bouquet to be thrown, then ask Becky to marry me. Alas, that would depend on Becky actually catching the bouquet. If she didn't, it wouldn't be what I like to call "a movie moment."

Have you ever had those? "A movie moment" is that which is so perfect that you feel as though it was professionally written, and that cameras just HAD TO BE on you at that moment. You can even pick out a piece of music to fit the moment. If it was captured on film, it would fit into a major motion picture perfectly. I've had a few of them, and I wanted my asking Becky to be one such moment.

It occurred to me that I could make a toast to the bride and groom as a way of thanking them for having me at their home during one of the busiest moments of their lives. In that way, I could make a spectacle of myself in front of a crowd and ask Becky to marry me instead of an actual toast...

...and then I found myself making a joke out of such a toast. I spoke of it on 16 September on this very blog. After speaking of it here, it was then spoken about at length around Luppy and Kat. They loved the idea of a comedic toast...but were also fully aware of exactly what was REALLY going to happen. Becky, while involved with such chats, remained blissfully unaware of my plan. But her being in on the plot to make a toast in jest simply made the actual asking even better.

Backing up a moment...At the start of last month, I sent cash to Kat. She'd order up what she needed and would assemble the ring. Once I was in PA, she'd hand it off to me when Becky was off showering or something. She sent me a picture to me at one point, but...I don't know. The size of the photo made me think something was wrong with the ring. Once I was at Kat's house, however, and she showed me the ring, I thought it was as close to perfect as could be. (I would have liked a larger "diamond," but the idea of two rubies, (mine and Becky's birth stone) united by a diamond still meant it was a great ring regardless of my nitpicking.) The night before we headed for Elmira, NY, Kat officially handed off the ring to me. (I delayed that in case there was any reason for Becky to go into my bag. I'd have hated to have Becky find the ring before it was meant to be revealed.

With the bride and groom in on my plan, it soon started spreading around. I didn't know this, but swiftly found out once we arrived in NY. Kat's mom had spoken with the wedding photographer to ensure the moment was caught. It was also spread to a videographer so he could capture the moment in motion. And because these things were discussed in front of so many others...well, it seemed that EVERYONE knew about my plan to become engaged EXCEPT Becky.

In fact, after the ceremony, I found out about the videographer's knowledge of the approaching moment by accident. You see, I'd been placed at the head table because all the people I knew were going to be seated there. It was done as a kindness to me. While I waited for the wedding party to come to the reception hall, a woman started talking to me. I must be a person of interest, sitting at the head table, right? And so it was that I started explaining how it was that I ended up with my seat, and she suddenly connected who I was with that which her husband was expected to capture. They were immediately excited for what I was going to do.

Ah, but that moment came at me a lot faster than I expected. I thought I had time. But before we started eating, word was given that everyone at the head table was going to make their toasts, and then we would commence with the great feeding of the masses. Thus, Becky made a toast. She'd been dodging the idea of working on a toast for some time, but it seemed to come to her during the ceremony. Then a guy in the wedding party made his toast. And suddenly it was my turn.

Becky, thinking she had to be next to me to start smacking me in the back of the head, came around everyone to get in position. Becky was smiling, prepared for a funny moment. And I stammered something like, "There are some who think that I would steal the thunder of the bride and groom with my joke toast, but then...Well, I guess it's not a joke, is it?" My hand came out of my pocket, I fumbled with the ring box a moment, opened it, and finally looked at Becky. Her hands were covering her face and she was starting to cry. I was too pumped with adrenaline to feel any discomfort, so I hit one knee and said loudly, "Rebecca [last name], will you marry me?"

It was a movie moment, all right. She was shaking and crying as she said, "Yes!"

And then I was holding her, kissing her, and telling her she could stop shaking. She told me that that was an impossibility. I added, "Here, I have a ring for you." As I slipped on her finger, a worry about it not being a perfect fit evaporated, as it fit perfectly.

I'm missing some details, I'm sure. But it's been an emotional day. My blogging about it right now was a way to vent some of my excitement. I'm about to let Becky have her turn at blogging, if she can, while I take a relaxing shower. And then...Well, my fiancee and I are going to cuddle up and do our best to enjoy the cold we seem to be sharing. But that's what love is all about, right? Sharing?

Be well, all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Baby, it's cold inside...

...inside my head and chest, that is. The dream visit with the woman I love was turned to misery almost instantly. And it started on the second morning I awoke in Kat's house.

I won't ever make the claim that I'm a "hot" guy, but I do frequently find myself overheating quite easily. Since Becky demonstrated a willingness to wear warmer bed clothes and snuggle under a blanket, I was able to crank the A/C in the room, dress down, and sleep comfortably. Alas, what I didn't know was that the A/C vent was pretty much aimed at my head. I may have rested well that night, but I awoke with a raw throat and a bit of a cough.

Bah! No big deal. I'd feel miserable for a day and that's it, right? But I'd be smart the next night. Dress lightly, no A/C, and all would be well. Right? Except for the fact that the temperature dropped that particular night and I, in my sleep, didn't have any kind of presence of mind to slip under the covers. Instead of feeling better the next day, I only felt worse.

But it was just a minor cold, right? I'll combat it the way I have fought every cold I've ever had over the last 15 years. Plenty of vitamin C and chicken soup, and I shouldn't suffer at all. Except...I'd been downing plenty of vitamin C since the very start. The cranberry-raspberry drink I have hands over a full day's worth per serving. I added some chicken soup to my diet, but it seemed as though it was too late...

...because the next night, I was in misery. Despite taking some cold medicine, I woke every two hours with a powerful coughing fit, my lungs lined with mucus that simply refused to move. I had a powerful cough, but the inability to breathe deeply to really shake up the fluid filling my lungs had my head filling with visions of a possible hospital visit. The last thing I needed was bronchitis and possible pneumonia.

I was in absolute misery until today. We left Luppy and Kat's place, and as Becky and I drove off the mountain where they live, I started showing a marked improvement. In fact, I was singing along with some CDs I was playing in Becky's car, and my only real issue was that I couldn't take proper breaths to keep pace with the lyrics.

So, a couple of things are weighing heavily on my mind this evening.

The first is that my cold is now affecting my diabetes. I thought it was the expectorant I'd picked up earlier. I can still see myself wondering aloud to Becky, "I wonder if that stuff causes a dry mouth." Ummm...no, had I bothered to check, I would have noticed my blood sugar climbing. I even have acetone, just wee amounts, on my breath. So it's extra insulin and lots of fluids to clear it out of me so I can attend Luppy and Kat's wedding.

And that brings the other thing to mind. Luppy and Kat...Ummm...and mind you, I know Kat will be reading this, but human beings should not live the way they do. I have a feeling my cold was made that much worse by existing in a house loaded down with so much dust and mold that it would be condemned should health officials be called in. And so I wish to convey a message to them via this blog...

Look, you two. You're good people. I don't intend to "yell" at either of you. But with the adult act of getting married comes other adult responsibilities, like taking care of one another. And part of that includes keeping a home. As much as you'd probably like to continue living a carefree life filled with what work you have to do to earn a paycheck, and then play games with the rest of your free time, you are officially overdue to make a home out of that disaster area. Enjoy your honeymoon. But when you come home, you put all the computers and game systems into storage containers and they don't come out until you can walk around your house for an hour and the soles of your feet still appear to be flesh colored...and not the abysmal black I saw on Kat's feet a few nights ago.

Okay...Speech is complete. Your house didn't make me sick, it just contributed to how bad it felt once I became sick. It also doesn't help that my immune system is compromised by my diabetes.

So...Yeah. I got me a cold while trying to spend quality time with my lady love. Becky seems to be determined to somehow take the blame for it. "If you're going to get sick every time you come to visit me, you won't be able to visit me anymore." It was then that I pointed out that this is the first and only time I've ever come to visit her. Thus she countered, "Fine. If you get sick the next time you visit me, I won't allow you to visit again." But according to our little schedule, the time after that should entail me moving in. No more visits, regardless.

That's all I have for the moment, but there'll probably be more to come. I mean, how could the nice Jewish boy NOT blog after the wall-to-wall goyim gathering at the wedding? =P

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hey, I *CAN* blog!

And so I will.

I have reached PA alive, but perhaps not so well. Parts of me that hurt that I'd forgotten I had...like my back, my arms, my legs. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.

The bus ride here was an adventure unto itself. It actually started days before, when I called Greyhound and spoke with disabled services to arrange for preferred seating. Hey, if I'm gonna carry the cane, I'm going to take advantage of various services made available to me. In this case, I was able to arrange to sit at the front of the bus...alone, most of the time. =P

So there I was, in the trailer, awaiting when Ray would drive me to the bus station. That time rolled around, I walked back to Ray's room...and found him asleep. I was almost immediately concerned. It was only 3:00 AM. Ray rarely, if ever, goes to bed at that time unless he's not feeling well. His was only a minor complaint, of a headache I believe, and so he decided to lie down and managed to drift off. No worries. We got in the car and were on our way.

The bus station in our town turned out to be a rather frightening, dark, dismal place. It looked like a Goodwill store, but a lot less organized, with half of everything outside and in disrepair. There was also the rather unusual setup of a pair of gas pumps with a picnic table next to them.

Ray and I arrived there at around 3:50 AM, with the bus scheduled to depart at 4:10. I'd been told to get there about a half hour before departure, and there I was, hoping to find out if my bag was too big by some Greyhound employee...only to find the place mostly deserted. Oh, there were a couple of people there, but no one who worked at the station.

When 4:10 rolled around...well, there was no bus. Nor was there a bus at 4:20. That's when I tried to make a call to Greyhound to see it there was a problem. Alas, while the buses roll 24 hours a day, they offices don't have such hours. There was no one to take my call, so I decided to wait until 5:10. If a bus hadn't arrived by then, I would go back with Ray and call Greyhound during their office hours.

Thankfully, around 4:30, the bus arrived, and that's when I received my first bit of grief from that particular bus driver. He suggested I check my bag under the bus at the next station, since he usually ended up with a full bus then...but I was not prepared to be separated with everything that I would need in the bag, including all of my meds.

He was right, of course. About the bus being completely filled, that is. I ended up sharing that front seat for a short while, my legs wrapped around my bag. I was not terribly comfortable, but I also wasn't terribly UNcomfortable. I survived the ride to the next major stop, where I switched buses.

I did what I thought was right. I waited on a line with the other passengers. But when I loaded onto the bus and told the driver about disabled services and my seating arrangement, he said, "You should have come to me earlier. I would have loaded you on first." Silly me, I thought cutting ahead would be somewhat rude.

Still, this time I had the seat all to myself for the entirety of my time along that route. I was able to drift in and out of sleep a bit, and tried to do a bit of reading. But during the night portion of the ride, when a new driver had been switched out, I was told my light was a bit of a problem. You see, my reading light didn't have a switched that would allow it to STAY on; I had to hold it down to make it work, and my fingers would get tired, causing me to let go every now and again. The driver finally told me that it was reflecting on the windshield and was distracting. That was the end of what reading I could do at the time.

Oh...and THAT driver didn't seem to care if I told him right away or waited to tell him about my seating.

Now, up until this time, there was a woman on the bus that...that...Well, I wish I had some crazy glue, because her mouth needed some permanent sealing. I could hear this woman at the front the bus the entire time, and she knew only one word that she would use as an adjective. "F***ing." That she actually found people to babble at meant she was talking the entire time, and it was made worse by the fact that when we would make stops, she would be off the bus and speaking even louder.

But she was the worst of it. I had no other issues with anyone else on the bus, and skillfully avoided using the on board bathroom the entire trip.

About a week before I left KS, I told Becky that at some point some poor driver would have to deal with the fact that I was overly excited at the prospect of seeing the woman I love. Lo and behold, the last driver I encountered turned out to be that exact victim. But she ASKED for it. I mentioned where I was heading, and said I could tell her the entire story, but that wasn't advisable. The driver replied, "If it's a love story, I wanna hear it." So she did. In fact, she became so wrapped up in the story that she wanted to see Becky, and had me call so I could have Becky waiting at the exact gate we'd be parking at.

I saw Becky as we were pulling in and had my bag in hand before the bus had stopped. If I could've run off the bus, I would have. As it was, I hobbled off, dropped my bag, threw my cane on top of it, and took her into my arms for a rather tight hug. Thankfully, I was able to remind myself not to crush her.

Now, I'm not EXACTLY sure when she did it. I think she waited for Becky and I to part at least once..and then the bus driver also joined in the hug. It was a bit nutty.

And so I am here, safe and somewhat sound. There's certainly going to be more to report, but that's all I'm going to report on for now.

Be well, all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Well, this is it...

...that is, it SHOULD be it. Unless something eventful happens during the rest of this day, this should be my last post before I head off to PA for Kat's wedding. And, just as important, seeing my sweet, beautiful Becky.

Apparently, Kat is actually a bit jealous of Becky. Kat has said something to the effect of, "You've managed to trump my wedding." How'd she manage that? By being incredibly excited that we're going to see one another again. Saturday makes it 3.9 months since we last saw one another, and we've been going somewhat insane at the prospect of doing so once more.

The great expression for our excitement has been bouncing. In speech and in action. Becky has watch with great amusement as I've sat here, literally bouncing up and down in my seat, proclaiming the obvious in the voice of a child, "I bouncing!" A couple of nights ago, Becky was exhausted, so she said while lying in bed, "I'm bouncing. Or would if I could move. I'm bouncing on the inside." And our most mundane conversations will be interrupted by one or the other saying, "Boingy, boingy, boingy!"

Crazy kids in love. That's us.

However, as much as I'm looking forward to my time in PA and NY, I'm looking forward even more to our return to KS. You see, there's a lot of things we need to do while I'm out of town. There's the wedding and the things that had to wait until the last minute, the drive to NY, where we'll be visiting the guy who's more of a brother to me than my own brothers, visiting my father, a little time in the town of Wantagh to show Becky where I spent most of my years growing up, a possible drive to Brooklyn to pick up some things that MIGHT be on the second floor of the old family business, the drive back to PA, meeting Becky's mother and probably her brothers, a visit to the place where Becky worked and just had her last day yesterday, and then the LONG bus ride back to KS.

That first week in October...THAT'S when Becky and I will have absolutely NOTHING to do but spend time with one another. I have an appointment to speak with a nurse and get some blood work done that week, as I'll be having surgery the next. But beyond that, it'll be time spent with my lady love, cuddling and talking and just being happy to be with one another. No weddings, no visits, no trips here or there. It'll just be us and time...

Which I imagine will slip by entirely too fast. That's the thing about time. It's a matter of perspective. The way I've been describing it for years is like so: "The length of a minute all depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on." To further explain, if you're inside and taking care of nature's call, then time moves along at it's normal pace. But if you're outside of an occupied bathroom, and you REALLY have to go, a minute feels as though it's managed to turn into an hour. Thus, the time when I'm with Becky will probably race by, and we'll be left wondering where it all went.

I imagine that's what Kat's been going through, what with her wedding rapidly approaching. Tie must have been speeding up or slowing down, just when she didn't want it to do such things. "The wedding is so far away, and I want to get married NOW!" "Wait, there's still too much to do! Why is time going so fast?!?" She'll probably think of a dozen other things to do this week, all of which cannot possibly be accomplished because time has run out. The wedding is on the evening of 24 September.

Ah, but Kat...Since I know you'll eventually be reading this, you should know that NOTHING trumps wedding. It's the winning card when it comes to love. And although it seems as though Becky and I have done nothing but fawn over one another during your very special time, it hasn't escaped our notice.

Specifically, I've been considering making a toast to you and Luppy. (That's Kat's future husband's nickname.) Much of what I've talked about with Becky involves her hitting me in the head while I make the proposed toast. It goes something like this, with Becky's part represented by "*BIFF!* "Gathered friends and family, we are gathered here today to mourn - *BIFF!* - CELEBRATE the joining of these two victims - *BIFF!* - KAT AND LUPPY as they head down the path to their doom - *BIFF!* - THE ROAD TO HAPPINESS. They have graciously played the role of torturers - *BIFF!* - HOST AND HOSTESS to Becky and I, and this eulogy - *BIFF!* - TOAST is my way of thanking you. So...To Kat and Luppy. May their divorce be less stressful that their wedding preparations! - *BIFF!* - MAY THEY FOREVER EXPERIENCE WEDDED BLISS!" Such things make my beloved laugh a great deal, which is good...but it also brings up the fact that I might very well make a toast to you too. It's only fair that I should say something quite publicly as a way of thanking you for taking me in during the final week of your wedding preparations. It's no mean feat playing host and hostess while putting together the final pieces of a marriage ceremony. Thus, this is your warning to expect me to ask for the mic at some point during the reception. I mean, Becky considers you her sister, and I have every intention of asking for her hand by June of next year, so...Yeah.

Oh...and Becky, my love, my sweet...try not to hit me TOO hard during the toast. =P

And so, I am off to make those last few preparations of my own before I go. I need to finish laundry, make sure I have everything I need and ready to be packed, and perhaps take a little nap before getting ready to go. The nap is to ensure I'm awake when it's time to actually leave.

Perhaps I'll have a chance to blog while I'm away, but that remains a bit of an unknown. So until my glorious return, be well, my friends. =)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NOW you bust my chops?

Why now? I have things to do. I have to get ready to leave early on Friday morning. I have to straighten my room. Do you know when the last time was that I vacuumed in here? I also need to do laundry. I have a list of things to pack, and am missing some of those items. And while I seem to have tons of energy in the moments that I think of going to see Becky, I get pretty worn out when I'm on my feet for too long. So why - WHY?! - are you busting my chops NOW?

Oh...ummm...it would seem I forgot to mention what my problem actually is on this morning.

I have my alarm set for noon. I'm old and decrepit, so I like my sleep. There are times where I wish the day was longer so I could sleep 14 hours, then be awake for 14 hours. That would work out much better for me. If scientists could slow the rotation of the earth just a touch, that'd be great. But they can't, and to sleep the entire day away would be foolish, so my alarm is set for noon. So what wakes me up this morning? A phone call from the local Welfare Office, called SRS, wanting to know if I intended to renew my benefits this year.

Renew? Why would I have to renew something I'm going to need forever? Unless I find that genie in the bottle that can cure my every ailment, I'm going to need a leg up from Welfare. Ah, but we all know those government types. They love their paperwork. Thus, it becomes an annual event to fill out forms and make a claim for the obvious. "Why, yes...I'm still disabled and need Medicaid. Thank you."

The call this morning was from my case manager, who said I was mailed forms. I haven't seen any forms, other than those sent by doctors. The rest have been bills for what I MIGHT owe if insurance doesn't pay, which I can ignore because insurance pays for everything. Well, almost. Here in KS, they seem to want just a few extra dollars from me. Like bills I've been getting from my local clinic. They want $3 from me. My plan is to wait until they've spent that $3 in paper, ink, and postage, and THEN pay them. So, tangents aside, I asked when the paperwork is due. I was told it WAS due on the 5th. Well isn't that just perfect.

The result of this will be a rushed visit to SRS this afternoon, where I'll fill out the missing paperwork...and attach a lie to it. Yes, a lie. I don't like lying in any way. I can't even give a false compliment. (It's why I dread such questions as, "Does this dress make me look fat?" "Yes...Yes it does. It makes you look HUGE! If you had the figure of a whale, you might look good in that dress. Unfortunately, it makes you look like the Hindenburg...but with a pair of mammoth mammaries that are probably giving you nightmarish back pain." (Okay, I wouldn't go the insulting route, but...you get the idea.)) So my note to SRS will be that I'll be out of town until the 1 Oct. The truth so far. Because I'll be visiting my father. A partial truth. The entire time. There we go; there's the lie. And this is just to let them know that I won't be ignoring any possible correspondence, but that I won't be around to receive it, and that phone calls would be best.

Of course, no phone call during my time out of town will be good. I can see it now, a tender moment between Becky and I. The kisses and gentle caresses are definitely leading to something far more...athletic...and that's when the phone rings, killing the mood completely. At moments like those, I'll probably answer, "Whoever this is, you're better than a condom."

This is how I deal with stress. I poke fun at it. The timing for this deadline couldn't be worse. Had I known it was due at the start of September, I would have made note of it on my cell phone's calendar. But I didn't apply until late September of last year, and didn't have my benefits in place until some time around November or December. Or did they actually kick in around March, and this is a semi-annual thing? Oh, that'd be just perfect.

I'm off to prepare to run this lovely errand. Becky, my love...If you don't see me about, and manage to find this post before I get home, know that I'll be looking for you on Skype when I'm back from running around the world.

Wait. If I can run around the world, why am I bothering to take a bus to Becky? Why haven't I visited her more often? Oh, I'm a terrible boyfriend!

*runs off weeping in shame*

Monday, September 13, 2010

One forgotten dose of insulin later...

Y'know, I've committed some bonehead moves in my life, but this one always seems to win me a prize. The prize is feeling like crap, and having to wait it out until the late-taken dose kicks in.

Many people ask me, "How on Earth can you forget something like taking your insulin?" Well, it's actually quite easy, as the taking of such meds is a daily routine. Haven't you ever forgotten to do something in your daily routine before you rush out of the house? Like brushing your teeth...? It actually happens all the time. You become distracted by something, leave your house, and before you know it, you're running your tongue over your "furry teeth" and feeling very conscious of the fact that you might end up breathing in someone's face, even by accident.

That's what it's like to forget to take one's insulin. Thankfully, I've gotten into some habits that help me avoid becoming so sick that I'd require hospitalization. Like making sure I have what I need to take a dose or two of insulin should I be out of the house for a few hours.

Today is extra special, because I woke and made myself some iced coffee. I used flavored creamer in it, and aside from the fact that the creamer, all on its own, would be converted to sugar inside my body, there is added sugar to it for the flavoring. So without that dose of morning insulin, I've been downing liquid sugar for the last hour and a half, which has made me feel like utter garbage.

"What's it feel like?" It's not easy to explain. Do you know what an "Indian burn" is? It's when someone grips your forearm and twists your skin in opposite directions. Now imagine that pain across your entire torso and in your arms, from fingers to mid-bicep. There are also sharp, electric pains shooting through my legs and feet. That's just my neuropathy out of control to match my high sugar.

Now comes the state of ketosis that I'm in. There's a "fruity" scent coming from my lungs. In the short time during my screw-up, acetone has been building up in my blood stream. It's the same stuff used in nail polish remover and industrial solvents. If it was REALLY high, I'd be vomiting almost nonstop. Thankfully, my body is just sticking to getting rid of the acid through my lungs. UNthankfully, my breathing is a little labored. This entire process is called "Kussmaul breathing." Usually it's associated with much deeper breaths than what I'm taking now, but it's the same basic process.

Oh...One other "exciting" sensation is a burning in my muscles. Many people don't realize this, but one of the places the body stores sugar is in the muscles. The best way I can think of describing it is to imagine microscopic sugar crystals gathering up in your muscles. Every time you move, they cause a burning sensation that is close to the burn you get after a hard workout, but not quite.

I can almost imagine Becky sitting there, reading this post and saying, "Oh my G-d! I have to talk to him to make sure he's okay!" Well, you can relax, my love, and all others becoming concerned. Before making this post, I not only took the insulin that was due, but extra to handle the state of ketosis. I've also abandoned the iced coffee for calorie free drinks to help wash the extra sugar and acetone out of me. The pain is already starting to decrease, and my breathing is starting to ease. In a few hours, my sugar level will be back to normal, and I'll feel completely better. In fact, I should be in perfect shape by the time Becky reads this.

I just wanted to share this event because...well, I haven't yet. And it's a part of my life that becomes part of the answer as to WHY I'm disabled. Yes, this is quite common in diabetics. But because I'm a brittle diabetic for 36 years as of this very month, it seems to hit harder and faster. Mind you, that's my perspective. Ask a doctor and he might tell you there's no such thing as "hitting harder and faster."

I'm off to follow my own regular advice, and that's "be well!" =)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What is this "sleep" you speak of?

It would seem that I've done it again. Between reliving the trauma of 9/11 and the excitement of seeing Becky in less than a week, I've taken the semblance of a sleep schedule that I had and have thrown it out the proverbial window. If I don't correct it within the next few days, my visit with Becky will have us conscious during opposite ends of the day. She'll be awake during the day, while I'm awake all night. It'll be...something.

At least 9/11 this year didn't have me sitting silently all day by myself, wallowing in the horrific memories of 2001. I did what I've done for the last few years, which is seek out documentaries about the attack. I also watched the one produced by the Naudet brothers (as linked yesterday), who were one of the two people to capture the first plane hitting the towers. It may be a kind of morbid curiosity, but I also believe it to be a duty that we remember that terrible piece of history. Amidst my day of mourning, I was even able to get a few smiles in, as talking with my beloved helped quite a bit.

Oh, but my day just had to be sullied by "9/11 Truthers." Cody went on a bit of a rant on Facebook, and some of the replies had me getting angry. "The Towers were brought down by the government so we could have a reason to go to war with Iraq." Really? The administration run by Governor Bush couldn't keep his stupidity a secret; how could they keep a major conspiracy like this under their hats? We all saw how the fabrication of WMDs in Iraq came undone after "Mission Accomplished," right? Does anyone truly believe the geniuses in Washington could hide a conspiracy that killed thousands and destroyed the heart of New York City? After seeing pictures of people leaping to their deaths, does anyone honestly think heads wouldn't have rolled for producing such horror?

What gets me are the "facts" that people try to throw in my face. "These were steel constructs that could not have melted. The designers said that hitting the top floors wouldn't have collapsed the towers. Buildings don't fall like that unless they're demolished professionally. There were a series of smaller explosions after the planes impacted. And what about Building 7?"

*sigh* Listen up, you dimwits, and listen well.

1: In a major metropolis, G-d forbid there's something as serious as an earthquake, you don't want your buildings falling sideways. If that happened, you'd have a gargantuan set of Dominoes falling over, killing millions. The buildings are DESIGNED to come straight down.
2: The designs of most skyscrapers involves the floors/ceilings themselves to hold the building up. Burn out a dozen floors and the structure starts to collapse. Now what, pray tell, do you think will happen to the floors beneath as several hundred tons of material comes falling their way? THEY ALL FALL! But you say one of the architects said it wouldn't collapse? Name him instead of saying "an architect said so." Also, take a moment and ask him if his calculations included a plane traveling at several hundred miles per hour.
3: The smaller explosions could have been so many things that I can't begin to list them all. How about me throwing out just one: a propane tank. One small tank of compressed gas, as used in repairs, could cause an explosion strong enough to blow a house apart.
4: Building 7 was hit by a large piece of debris from the collapse of Tower 1. Combined with the fires that burned for so long within its walls, and it had little else to do but fall.

I could go on, and this is all just using common sense. What's more, my old acquaintance Dave told me that something that big couldn't be kept secret for long at all. There are too many loose tongues wagging in Washington. No one vanished or was killed to shut them up. No one has come forward with some astonishing claim of knowing the truth. There are no rooms filled with documents sealed up until all that were involved are dead...such as with the whole JFK thing. (Yes, I believe there's an actual conspiracy behind that one. Or, as Cody put it, "Something's not kosher.")

And another thing, "Truthers"...Stop calling us "sheeple," or we'll have your brains baah-aah-aah-aashed in. =P

But aside from the emotional turmoil of 9/11, there's the infinitely better and far more exciting prospect of seeing my sweet, beautiful Becky again.

It's most common for us, when we're on Skype, for her to have me on full screen. Because her laptop is the primary source of light on her face in those moments, some of her features get lost in the dimness of me filling up her screen. I can see those soft, ruby-red lips, and I long to kiss them again. But then there are those times when she reduces the size of my picture on her screen, and a brighter light hits her face...and her sparkling green eyes shine brightly...and she smiles, illuminating the screen that much more...

And something I look forward to, that I can only partially experience over the distance between us, is her starting to drift off to sleep. She stretches out on her bed, the camera aimed in such a way that I can see her from the waist up...and she just looks so beautiful, and so at peace. I can hardly wait to be there in person, watching her drift off when she's within arm's reach...so that I can stretch out my hand and gently caress her cheek, and FEEL her smile serenely. Even better, I'll be able to do this in candlelight.

Y'all let me know when I'm being too mushy for you. And know in advance that when you say that to me, I'll bid you all to go read something else, because I have every intention of remaining mushy throughout my romance with my beloved. =P

So...For the next few nights, it's going to be full 1 mg. doses of Xanax to get to sleep. My bus ride to PA may well throw me off again, but at least I won't be wildly off schedule. And then, once we're together, Becky and I will likely utterly destroy our respective sleep schedules, as we spend as much time as possible trying to stay awake to simply stare at one another. It's the kind of goofy thing that people in love will do.

Be well. =)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Terrible Anniversary

Nine years ago today, while we were starting our days and going about our business, some religious fanatics took over four planes. They had no regard for their lives. They had no regard for the lives of others. If anything, their intent was to cause as much destruction as they could. They succeeded in ways public and personal. Some victims were not even in Manhattan at the time the Twin Towers fell.

I'm one of them. Although I mark the beginning of my PTSD on 2 July 2002 at 2:30 AM when I was attacked in my sleep by a drunkard, part of mind goes back to 11 Sept. 2001 and I can't help but sink into an inconsolable melancholy, occasionally accompanied by tears. Terrorists blew up a part of my home, New York, and I couldn't begin to understand why. And then to hear of Muslims dancing in the streets over the successful attack...? I was enraged. Nothing made sense. And none of the news outlets could make sense of it for me.

My friend Julie...Her best friend was married at the time of the attacks. The friend, Phee, and her husband are EMTs. They volunteered to go into the city to help with rescue and clean up efforts. Phee's husband was forever changed by the experience. His mind crumbled before the chaos, destruction, and death that awaited them. As I understand it, he was never the same. It led to their divorced and eventual reconciliation. And although they are together again, his mind remains damaged.

Who else crumbles before this anniversary? Each fatality is remembered by numerous family members and friends. The dead and the injured are not the only victims of the 9/11 attacks. There are too many others to count.

For me, it doesn't matter what religion you are. Pray to G-d, Jesus, Allah, or whatever other higher power you believe in. If you're an atheist, you can still offer up a generic prayer to no power whatsoever that those who suffer this day know some kind of peace as time goes on. That the horrors they suffer on this terrible anniversary occur only on this date, and that their lives resume nearly unaffected the next day. It's the most we can hope for now that the damage has been done.

For those who are interested, the link to the documentary that takes you inside the World Trade Center on the day of the disaster starts with this video.

Here's to world peace in our time and good will toward all. Be well, my friends.

+Rob

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Nine days and counting...

Today, Becky and I break double digits on the countdown to when we see each other. Ths means that the excitement we feel will probably remain at "five-year-old" until I step off the bus. What does that mean? Well, it means that our conversations will be spontaneously interrupted by one, the other, or both suddenly saying, "Boingy, boingy, boingy," accompanied by actually bouncing in our seats.

As amusing as that sounds, what you're missing is the voice I use when saying it. Becky...? She doesn't do unusual voices all that much. But I'm constantly slipping in and out of character voices as I speak to her on Skype. The childish voice is the most common, and used to great effect when saying something like, "I'm a sexy beast." Or I'll start to whine while saying, "I'm intimidating, and you should be afraid of me." And a few days ago, I slipped into a kind of German accent and told the entire tale of how her and I got together, but did so as one would to small children. Becky was quite amused.

She and I are SO excited that we have already planned out the rest of my arrival day. It's really quite simple. I get off the bus. She and I embrace. Eventually, Kay comes along with a crowbar and separates us. We head back to Kat's house. I shower. Then Becky and I retire to the room we'll occupy at Kat's and I'll collapse. And if I regain consciousness, good for me. If not, that will also be good for me, as sleeping on the bus may not be entirely possible.

Very recently, we did the math on how long it's been since we've seen one another. The result was 3.9 months. Close enough to four to call it that. Thankfully, our plans don't allow for that much time to pass before we see each other again. For this, I'm thankful, because I'm back to being as nervous as I was during our first meeting. It's odd, as I don't have anything I need to prove this time around. Actually, I didn't have anything to prove the first time. Psychologically, however, there's the need to demonstrate to Becky that she's made the right choice in choosing me. So, despite having nothing to prove, I feel like I do. Go figure.

Ah, but once I'm there, I'll be able to remind her of the reasons she chose me above all others. We'll light a couple of candles and cuddle up. And we'll continue to talk about our dreams of a bright future together, interrupting for the occasional kiss. It will be as it was back in May, but with a greater degree of comfort. Back when we first met, I was fairly nervous. I may be a bit nervous this time, also, but not nearly as much. And we can abandon the childish acts that fill the time between visits with tenderness.

Be well, all.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And the winner is...

...THE RIGHT ELBOW! Let's give the right elbow a big hand. ladies and gentlemen! (Pun fully intended.)

I went to see my orthopedic surgeon today to discuss what should be done about my left knee. It's been acting up, but not consistently. Still, I've been somewhat fearful that whatever is plaguing it would turn into a similar incident as with the right. Walking along, minding my own business, when the knee suddenly becomes a huge problem. Alas, without the right knee bothering me on a regular basis, the surgery would be considered "elective." My current coverage doesn't allow me to have surgery because I'm paranoid.

There's also the fact that the current pictures don't warrant surgery. My MRI shows a POSSIBLE tear. It's not nearly as clear as it was on the right side. X-rays also show good spacing between the bones. Looking at the pictures that were done for my right knee, one could see a reduction in the spacing of bones. Everything looks okay in the left.

So we discussed other things, past and future.

The Past: I reported that the doc had fixed a large tear. What I didn't know was exactly what "a large tear" meant, or how it had been fixed. I now have those answers. The doc removed the damaged part of my medial meniscus, which turned out to be an estimated 40% of the whole. This explains why, almost two months later, this thing is still healing. I had no idea he'd removed so much. Heck, I didn't know he'd removed anything at all. I thought perhaps he'd managed to tack down the tear and we were waiting for it to heal. Nope. And the doc informed me that in the past, a tear that large would usually result in the removal of the entire meniscus. I would have been meniscusless.

The Future: As a passing inquiry, I asked if there was absolutely anything that could be done for my right foot. I still experience terrible pain from the place where I had esteomyelitis. The doc said they usually recommend I see a specialist to get me special shoes...which I already wear. Beyond that, there's not much to be done.

But then there's my right elbow. On that one, we KNOW work needs to be done. But with my month already full of activities with Becky, there was no chance I'd be having it in September. And because my beloved is returning with me to stay until 9 October...Well, Becky may have a great desire for hers to be the face I see when I awaken from surgery, but there wouldn't be much time to get everything done that needs to get done. I'll need pre-surgical labs, as well as a "nurse visit" to discuss aftercare. That will be happening during the week of Becky's visit, and I'll have the surgery on 13 October. (Which just happens to be our dating anniversary.)

As for the knee...? It's a waiting game. The pain will likely increase come the winter, at which point the doc will probably be more willing to go in and have a look around. Since my plan is to visit with my sweet, beautiful Becky again during the holidays, further surgery will probably wait until January.

Then, given that all of my surgical needs will be done with, my lady-love and I are now aiming for March or April, (whenever her Spring Break occurs), for me to move to my new home. "Your new home, Rob?" Yes. You see, Becky is my new home, so home is wherever she is. =)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bracing myself

It's now less than two weeks until I see Becky, and then the adventure will REALLY begin. We'll be engaged in wedding stuff, including a wedding. And then it's off to Long Island, where we'll visit my father and step-mom...and that's what I'm bracing myself for. In fact, I started preparing Becky last night.

Mom and Dad will be very pleasant when they meet her. Unlike my biological mother, who has great capacity to be rude right out of the gate, they'll behave themselves. The visit will end with them claiming that it was nice to see me, and a pleasure meeting Becky. They'll also ask for a phone call once we're done driving back to PA.

It's during that phone call when I'll be hit with the questions. Dad doesn't see me as a "real man" because I'm unemployable. He'll want to know how I intend to be a husband and father when I can barely care for myself. There may even be a declaration that the relationship won't last. All in all, Dad will critique my relationship with Becky, bringing storm clouds over my dreams.

Well, he's in for a bit of a shock. I refuse to let the idea of him coming down on this relationship drive me to depression. Oh, I'll suffer stress over it. Dad does the whole guilt thing very well. But I plan on telling him that Becky and I are planning EVERYTHING in advance. When we'll get married...when we'll have kids...when we'll consider buying a house...and even some of the details in those ideas.

Of course, life is what happens while you're making other plans. I live by that. There's no way to prepare for every little thing that may come our way. However, no matter what the obstacle, Becky and I are planning to face it TOGETHER. And I think that's where a lot of couples' relationships go astray. One or both decides they can handle a particular crisis alone, eventually becomes overwhelmed, and that's the beginning of the end. Stress drives a wedge between them, and the arguments become fights. Very hurtful things are said, and sometimes terrible acts are committed. I've seen it happen. I've experienced it. And I will do my level best to avoid going down that road with Becky.

Besides...compared to my brothers, I'm living a dream. As far as I know, Barry still has no one in his life who will tolerate his chauvinism and bigotry. Stu...Oh, I love this one. Stu was in touch with his wife via e-mail and the like for two months before they met. When they finally DID meet, they were married a week later. It was very much a marriage of convenience, as Stu was lonely and she wanted to become an American citizen. The kid they had was more long the lines of paperwork. They could then argue with immigration, "Would you really separate a child from its mother?" It's why I believe my nephew doesn't know what love is either. I mean, thus far, he's had more interaction with a television set than his parents.

No...Dad will either accept the fact that I'm happy, or I will happily point out certain realities to him. I won't be cruel, but I won't hold back on the truth, either. I'm the only one of his kids who has heart. And I'm the only one who is doing anything for the sake of love.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dive!

Take us to 500 meters and hold.

Okay, I'm not actually living in a submarine, but it certainly feels a bit like that, what with the rekindling of an old friendship and him coming at me full-throttle to work on a project together. I feel as though I'm trapped in closed quarters with someone I used to know, but may not know so well now, who is demanding a kind of intimacy.

No, no...Nothing like that. Terence knows I don't swing on that particular vine. It's just that he wants to collaborate for NaNoWriMo in November, and I'm not sure he's fully understanding of my life as it is right now. I'd love to get involved in a project with him, but what happened if a part of my body self-destructs? It's not beyond the realm of possibility. I would be completely dismayed if I should commit to the project, then find myself unable to follow through, and leave him hanging. It's unfair to him.

There's also the paranoia that exists in my mind. We've been out of touch, and I have no idea if he actually still holds a grudge for the way I treated him in the past. I've written about this. I was a complete jerk to him. He wasn't 100% innocent, but I always managed to be worse.

For example, there was a holiday season in which some of my friends piled into my car, and we went off to get Terence. The idea was to go back to Bryan's place for a little Christmas celebrating. But once we'd picked him up, Terence sat in the back seat and made a nuisance of himself. I can't even remember what he was doing; I just remember it making me so angry that I pulled over and told him to get out of my car. In fact, I shouted it.

Oh...and we were equidistant between his and Bryan's house...and there was a snow storm in progress.

On we went with our celebration, and I refused to let what happened between Terence and I ruin anything. We were enjoying ourselves thoroughly when there was a knock at the door. It was Terence. And the first thing he did was approach me, hand me a present, and wish me a happy holidays. I felt like crap, and rightfully so.

That was just one incident among many, and eventually he refused to talk to me at all. There were a few times when I tried to reach out to him, and thought I'd been successful, only to have him cut all communication again. All I could do was accept his judgment and miss my friend.

Now the creatively paranoid part of my mind is at work. Is Terence seeking some kind of revenge, and using NaNoWriMo as his cover? Okay, hear me out. It's not beyond the realm of possibility. You see, Terence is a published writer. Fiction is not his thing, although it could be if he so desired. He used to marvel at my imagination, so this is the part where he tries to tap it, making what contributions he wants...and then walks off with the finished product, gets it published, keeps all the money, and sends me taunting notes. "How do you like it now, you insulting bastard?"

Well, I may be disabled and medicated, but I'm not dumb. Even the closest of friends should go into a potentially profitable venture with a contract. You could be a pair of conjoined twins...Money will find a way to tear people apart. Thus, my last message to Terence was not only a warning about what he may be getting into with me, but I suggested he start working on a contract that we can sign.

I just hope nothing I say upsets him. That's my last intent in the world. I mean, if I end up hurting his feelings, there are few places to hide on this sub.