Friday night my heart wept. It is a pretty bold statement, I know, but I felt something I have not felt in a really long time. I am not sure how descriptive I will be. It is not my place to divulge what made me feel that way, however, I will try my hardest to speak honestly, respectfully, and most important, focusing on my self, rather than others. For these same reasons, I will refrain from using my usual nicknames, and resort to using other signifiers to refer to people during this entry.
I left work with a friend quite late. I received a text message from one of my best friends/a guy I like (we’ll call him A) saying to come over to our other friends’ apartment. It is hard for me to even type this because it is not my place to even talk about this, but just like he likes doing things, I’m just going to rip the bandage. He was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He told me the moment I got to my friends’ (B and C) place. I felt dead for a split second. Someone had just casted a dark cloud above me and I was in the middle of dense fog not knowing what to do. I have not felt that way in a really long time, and as a matter of fact, I can almost say never, because the reasons why I’ve felt like that in the past are not the same, therefor it’s not really the exact same feeling.
The first thing I did after snapping out of shock was to give him a hug. Like I said, this is a good friend, who I’ve hugged time and time again. This did not feel the same way. It reminded me of a dream I had once right after my best friend of my teen years committed suicide. In my dream I was in a white austere kitchen sitting across a small round table from him. I was asking him why he was leaving, and he said he had to. I asked when he’d be back. He answered never. He stood up and I hugged him. I kept telling him this wasn’t real, and that he was going to be back. He, with a very stern look, kept repeating he had to. He then walked out the kitchen and I woke up. I felt unbelievably sad. I’m used to waking up with a deep sadness or anxiety, but this was different. I felt the exact same thing when I was hugging my friend on Friday night. That feeling that you don’t want to let go because you feel it might be the last time you get to hug someone. It sounds very tragic, his prognosis is good, and he’s not going anywhere for a really long time… in fact, I joked that he’d probably bury me before I bury him… but still, there’s no words to describe how one feels initially after hearing such news.
The night was tender, to say the least. We tried joking about it, his spirit was still there, playful and always positive… yet somehow a part of him was now aware that, although we’re all going to one day die, it’s not something we think about until we’re faced with an actual reminder that we’re far from invincible. My dark gloomy cynical self felt like an average human for once.
I was still in shock. We played some games and then decided to go out per his request. He wanted to go out dancing. Regretfully, our other friends decided to stay in. I have big qualms with couples because they turn into assholes. I am about to vent. I don’t give a shit if you’re happily married/partnered or whatever the fuck you choose to call yourself, friends are friends and when they need you, especially in times like this, that trumps everything! It’s one thing to be dumb and pathetic on a regular basis and party poop every weekend, that’s fine, you’re lame, but I can somewhat get that. However, in situations like this I don’t give a fuck what your excuses are, you don’t support? you’re worth shit to me. Then again, that’s probably why I’m not in a relationship. I believe in giving the best of you whenever it needs to be given regardless of the situation, and in this case the “situation” is you’re partnered and tired and feel like cuddling and calling it an early night, because tomorrow you have shit to do a.k.a gardening or whatever dumb shit couples do. I have no sympathy. Sorry, I know! Run-on sentence.
I very proudly went to a bar with my friend and was willing to stay out for as long as he needed me to. He spent the night and I hugged him to sleep.
The next morning I woke up and got him a smoothie. I went to work and he went shopping. He needed to distract himself. He met me at work for lunch. We hung out for a bit and he went home. I was not on top of my game. All I kept thinking was about him, and I was being sporadic and scattered brain as I am now as I type this.
After work, I went home, fed and walked my dog and then met coworkers for dinner. Dinner was ok. I was not in the mood for it, but I made the best of it. It was a bit too SoCal straightness for me which is normally not an issue at all but, like I said, I was not in the right mindset. I had promised my friend I’d go dancing with him, so at around 11:30 pm I excused myself, left some cash on the table and took off. I met the same 3 friends from the last night at some bar. We had a couple of cocktails, and then B and C started bitching about going home. I didn’t even bother on wasting energy on arguing, my energy was actually being focused on the person who needed it. In the end, they ended up coming.
We walked to my apartment through the monsoon that hovered over Williamsburg. We had a couple of drinks and a quick dance party at my place and then we went to an actual dance party a few blocks away. We got completely soaked. Me and A took our shirts off and acted like fools. We danced, made out, drank, and smoked. I just wanted to make sure he was having the time of his life.
We didn’t stay long. We all left after about half hour and walked to get some pizza. I didn’t eat and neither did A, so we just opted to go home, shower together, and go to bed.
Sunday morning I went to work and A stayed at my place. We made plans to meet for the movies after I got off. He came to my job around 4 and me and my coworker ended up closing shop half hour after. We walked in the rain all the way to Union Square to kill time and get him food. We then purchased a bottle of Honey Jack Daniels and went to watch Captain America. The movie was good but not great. We finished 3/4 of the bottle.
After the movie and with a decent buzz we bit farewell to my coworker and walked in the rain (again) to 14th street where we took the train to south Brooklyn. A invited me over to his friends’ apartment for dinner. We had a very nice conversation and he thanked me for being there for him the past few days. I’m not sure I’m doing the best job, sometimes I don’t know what to say or I say the wrong things, but I think he appreciates the company and attention. The dinner was nice. His friends were nice. We had more drinks and he passed out on their couch. I left and went home a bit sad.
I’ve been a big mess. I don’t know where my head is. I love him as a friend and he’s made me rethink lots of things. For instance, I have always wondered if I’d ever date someone with a terminal disease. It involves lots of care, responsibility, and time. He made me realize I pretty much could. I care deeply for him and, although it hurts, I would gladly do it again. It’s been two nights since he’s been here and I’ve done nothing but been miserable thinking of him the whole time. I want him next to me. I want to hug him. I want to make sure he’s alright. I know that’s my biggest issue. I tend to maybe avoid my issues by focusing on others. I can’t help it. I’m downing yet another glass of wine, after four previous ones and about four beers. I don’t know what to do or how to feel. All I will say is: I wish I had no heart.