Last Friday I went with my friend the BigMan to the place he's been taking pictures (cuz that's what he does). I was tired and behind myself anyhow... but I like going cuz I've gotten some great photos myself.
At about 9P the Professor called to tell me they were taking Poppy to the ER. My heart sank. It seems he'd lost all his short term memory and was acting vague. Once she got to the ER she started texting me updates; his blood pressure was scary-high, he hadn't remembered Obama was president, he couldn't recall what he'd done that day.
Initially I felt he probably had an infection. I learned while working in the Geriatric dept of a large teaching hospital that the sudden onset of "dementia" in an elderly person can indicate something as ordinary as a bladder infection. Because the elderly don't often run fevers, dementia can easily be misdiagnosed. Now... we took Poppy to the ER of the teaching hospital in which I worked. You THINK that would be the first thing they'd check for, right? But I guess they had to work on the blood pressure first, and rule out stroke, etc.
After the BigMan and I got done taking pictures, we headed downtown, the Professor texting updates. They moved him to the resuscitation unit. That didn't sound good. The Big Man had to make a couple of detours and even though half of me was stressing that we were taking so long getting to the hospital, the other half of me didn't mind dragging my feet... because I didn't want to get to the hospital and learn awful news. I kept repeating to myself "I don't want him to go. I don't want him to go."
At the ER MoodMagicBarbie was sitting outside the room by herself. Her face crumpled as I walked up to her. She's got a personality as big as her mothers and so they clash a lot... but underneath, just like her mom, is a very sensitive little person. As I watch her grow up into a beautiful young woman I am struck by how much I love her. I gave her a hug. I know her nastiness shields all of her softness but somehow she doesn't mind showing it to me... and I am honored by that.
I finally steeled myself to go inside the resuscitation unit to see how Poppy was doing. He recognized me but didn't remember anything short term. His face was flushed red. His blood pressure was still high but was being brought down by the medication they were giving him.
My head started to pound.
The Professor was her stoic self, but was resigned to accept the worst. BigBear chatted about his entire day and everything he ate and I knew it was because she was rattled and scared. But I couldn't take it all for long, and went back out to sit with MMB and the Big Man.
I wish that I were brave enough to do the hospital vigil, but I'm not. After awhile the headache increased and began to make me feel queasy so I took that as my reason to escape. I joked with the BigMan--who has high blood pressure--that it was his job to stay healthy cuz I'm real good at running in an emergency.
"You'd stay" he said.
"No she wouldn't" Professor said. "When the building fell on me she ran to Jersey".
"Yes I did" I admitted. "As fast as I could. It sucks... but I can't deal."
At one point he asked me how I was doing, and I hugged him and laughed. "I guess things like this make it a relationship, right?" and he said "uh, yeah".
We had to stop by his place to get clothes or something. My head was pounding so bad it made me feel like I could crawl out of my skin. He gave me a pair of Excedrin Tension Headaches to swallow, but I was past the point of two Excedrin. They did nothing.
We came home. I took another Excedrin Migraine and crawled into bed and passed out.
Early Saturday morning, SD dropped the Sun off--the Sun had spent the night with him. We both lay down for a while but I had to get up and pack the Sun for his trip to VA with the Moon and Shoefly.
I'd had to convince SD, slowly, to let the kid go. It took a little doing and a lot of begging by Shoefly. SD was ALWAYS more overprotective than I was when it comes to the Sun... but finally he decided it was OK. The Sun was overjoyed. They left about 11A. I took two more Excedrin and went back to bed, and finally around 1P the headache subsided.
The rest of that day was spent steeling myself to visit Poppy. Wasting time, editing pictures. Finally, I was ready. We drove down to BigMan's partner's house and picked her up. They drove me to the hospital and he came up with me while she took her laptop to the park and waited.
I didn't bring him into the room with me, cuz I didn't want to stress Poppy and I knew he wouldn't remember meeting BigMan. And it's a good thing cuz when I walked in SD was there. Both men already know they have to meet each other... but that wouldn't have been a good time.
Poppy was vague and weak and very nauseous, but alive. And not on oxygen. I held his hand. SD left and and Poppy drifted in and out of sleep. "How ARE you, mommy" he asked?
"Actually, I'm pretty good" I said. "I've been spending time with someone I kind of like, the Sun is good... I have no money but I feel like it will break soon". He seemed happy with that.
And I thought to myself if he was only holding on until I'm grown up, I would let him go.
I left, got the BigMan from the Atrium waiting area of the hospital and headed downstairs. Via text, the Professor and I talked about whether this was going to be Poppy's time. She's been having dreams. She knows his time is close. I tried to accept it... tried to imagine a world in which there is no Poppy. I have known this man my whole life. My earliest memories are of him laughing, dancing to Ray Charles and Otis Redding, hearing the "tacktacktack tack tack ching!" of his typewriter. Riding my red tricycle beside him as we walked through Paris.
The Professor wanted me to come by '25 to put an air conditioner of hers into BigMan's car. But as I tried to explain, BigMan's Partner was in the car and it's her car, and when she's in it we go where she wants, whether she's driving or not. And she wanted to go to the movies.
So that's where we went. We saw "Inglorious Basterds" which I enjoyed tremendously.
The rest of the weekend was kind of quiet; waiting for news, editing pictures. Nobody has any money and you can't do much with no money.
So I've had some time to think.
My horoscope said the other day something about "Now is a good time to commit to a relationship" and I thought seriously about it. But I'm still not ready.
I'm still wondering at myself at how I'm presently dealing with about 99% of what I want. And he's a good guy. Actually, a great guy. I wonder at my hesitance. And I think part of it is the concept of "forever". To quote Prince... "Forever is a mighty long time" and if I'm committing to "forever"I need to know I'm going to be happy doing it.
Reason being I have narcissistic tendencies, and I'm a great rationalizer. If something isn't working for me all the way, I'm not above taking care of myself. The only time I've cheated in a relationship it was because I was missing something. And I don't want to do that.
Cuz overall he's a great guy. He's been in his own place since yesterday and I do admit I miss him just a little bit. But at the same time I enjoy my space. I can't write when he's here, for one thing. And in every situation there's always a "but" and a catch, and I knew they were there and I found them.
One of them is his partner. The other night in the car she said "You know BigMan and I come as a package deal right?" and I said "Nooooooooooo. REALLY?" They both laughed. She went on to say she's non-threatening, but she's present and a lot of people can't deal with that. And for the most part I'm OK with it. I'd asked him if he thought she'd be OK if we really DID make a life together. He thinks she can. But as I said to him, there can only be one bigbitch in a relationship, and right now she's it. And right now I'm OK with that. But at some point the power is going to have to change hands. And I wonder if it's worth all that.
Basically, she's his best man. Most guys have their best friend. The one they roll with. I'm not worried about the fact that she's his best man. What I wonder about is the chick side, particularly since this chick doesn't just sleep with chicks. And their relationship is decidedly non-sexual... as he said he knows she's crazy and doesn't need that in his life. And I completely believe him. But chicks are proprietary by nature... and she's still a chick. And that could make it a little interesting. I'm not sure if I'm prepared to spend the rest of my life with her. I could though...
So I'm still not ready to commit. I'm not sure I want to give up my space. Yet at the same time it's awfully nice to have someone else make up the bed, or do dishes. And it's not that I expect it... I think it's why it's so nice. A nice surprise.
It bothers me I'm not swept away. That I'm not consumed by him. Because I have narcissistic tendencies and am a great rationalizer, and the Scrub's smile can still get to me if it hits me just right. And I miss Cricket's ability to fly where I fly. But if ever there was a ground wire, BigMan is it. If ever some one was ride or die, BigMan is it. And I wonder if that will be enough.
Yesterday morning Poppy called me first thing. He's back. But he knows his time is limited and seems to have his bucket list going. One of the things he wants is for me to finish "1977", the book I started here. So that's what I'm gonna do....