Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Scene from Next Year (and yesterday)


SUPER: June 20, 2012

We slowly pan across the room, first revealing BECKY, mid-20s and beautiful, sitting beside a hospital bed. Next comes ROB, mid-40s and looking somewhat sickly. There are numerous tubes and wires connected to him, and along his right leg, parts are missing from mid-shin on down.

BECKY: Sweetie, you can't do this. You only had surgery last week.

ROB: I've missed it every year for the last three, at least. I'm going.

BECKY: But what if the surgical site starts bleeding like it did a few days ago. You needed three pints of blood.

ROB: I'll bring extra in a cooler or something.

BECKY: And if a last minute x-ray shows the bone trying to grow where there's no leg?

ROB: I'll use any bone poking out of me to roast marshmallows.

BECKY: Can't you at least wait until the prosthetic is ready?

ROB: It'll be over by then, and I'm not missing it again. I made a promise to myself, and you know how I am about my promises.

BECKY: Well, you also promised you'd start taking care of yourself so you'd be with me forever. Remember that?

ROB: This won't kill me. It may hurt like all get-out, with me screaming and crying the whole time, but I'm going.

A young DOCTOR, stern in his expression, walks into the room and looks down at Rob.

DOCTOR: I understand you want to be discharged against doctor's orders. Is this true?

ROB: Yes. I need to get out of here. There's some place I need to be in a week, and laying here is screwing up all my plans.

DOCTOR: You realize that once you leave here, we won't be responsible for what happens to you.

ROB: Don't you people get it? I don't care anymore.I have to go. Besides, I'll have a nurse in training along with me.

He smiles reassuringly at Becky.

BECKY: I'm not going to help you with this harebrained scheme. If you go, you go alone.

ROB: You would have me suffer without you?

Becky appears wounded by the thought.

BECKY: No...No, I guess I wouldn't.

DOCTOR: And there's nothing I can do to change your mind?

ROB: Not a thing.

He swings his one and a half legs over the side of the bed, attempts to stand, promptly gets caught up in the wires and tubes, falls over and hits the floor with a loud, painful THUD!

Immediately, the heart monitor starts wailing its alarm, an IV tube is pulled loose and blood begins to pulse out its open end, and deep, dark arterial blood starts seeping through his bandages.

ROB: (struggling to breathe) Come on, baby. We have to get to the GitP meet-up.

He continues on, smearing a gory trail on the floor behind him, with the doctor simply shaking his head in astonishment.

Let me tell you, that's how I feel right now. Year after year, I express a desire to show up at the GitP meet-up, and year after year something gets in the way. Afterward, as I read the thread that starts expressing the good time had by all, I feel a deep-seated disappointment that I couldn't make it. I'm starting to reach the point where I'm not going to care if I just had a heart attack and am lying in an intensive cardiac care unit. I'm going to the meet-up, dangit, and I'm having fun...dangit!

And then reality sets in. I made an impossible promise to Becky, and she made the same to me. We know it's impossible, but in the spirit of eternal love, we said it anyway. "I promise to live forever." Yeah, it's that level of mush with us, and we couldn't care less what others think. There's just too much love and laughter here to even WANT to leave it all behind.

Which kind of brings us to yesterday's excursion to Wal-Mart. Money was tight, and we'd been running out of a few things here at home. My monthly check arrived early because of the Holiday weekend, so we went to grab just a few things that we needed.

And we "fought" the whole time, from when we walked out the door until we got home.

Now when I say we "fought," I mean we tried to be somewhat mean to one another, but failed miserably. Her ordering me to tuck and roll as we sped down the interstate couldn't possibly be taken seriously with a huge grin on her face. And when she suggested running me down when we stopped for gas, my response, "I can feel all of your love right through the front bumper," got more laughter than any kind of increasing anger.

It really was a lot of fun, feigning an argument that held no true anger. We were already gearing up for it as we got into the car, but my observation on our behavior denoted that it wouldn't really work. "We can't keep straight faces."

It held true. We tried to criticize one another throughout the store, but our threats and insults weren't helped by the smiles we had on our faces. "G-d, woman! Take up the whole aisle, why don't you?" "Look who's talking, with his little scooter blocking the other side completely!" "Just wait until we get home, where I can beat you in private!" "Like I can't walk faster than you can limp with that cast!"

Surprisingly, we got more stares because of the Roll About knee walker I was using. It wasn't until we were exiting the store that we went a little overboard. Becky was still pretending to bust my chops, when I shouted, "Dangit, woman! Why couldn't you wait in the car like I told you!" Heads immediately started turning, but then those who thought we even MIGHT be serious started laughing, when they saw Becky and I were also laughing. Becky then told one woman as we exited, pointing at my cast "I hobbled him before letting him out of his cage today."

Mind you, we didn't need an audience. As we walked out of the store, there were some teenagers collecting money for...something. It was the girl to my immediate left that caught my eye first. She wore very short shorts and a very tight tee shirt. My guess would be that she was all of 15 or 16, but her transformation from girl to woman appeared to be more than complete. As we moved on, I addressed no one in particular when I said, "Oh, girls. It's too bad I'm engaged, or I'd just hand you hundreds of dollars for whatever it is you're collecting money."

Becky promptly smacked me in the back of the head, and none too gently, either...and we just kept the banter going, as well as the laughter, all the way home.

All is as well as it can be, which is relatively good news. I hope the same applies to whoever is reading this, and DFTBA!

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