It's almost 8:45 on a hot July evening, and I'm sitting on my couch with Annie next to me. A white "T" shirt and briefs cover my shameful genitalia and man boobs. Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov is playing on my little compact disk player. My mind is distracted from the music by worry. A young friend of mine is very ill and in hospital, and my thoughts and prayers are with him. Yes, an atheist can pray. I want the universe and any omnipotent beings within it to know that I'll trade my health for the health of my young friend.
I'm also thinking about Nancy, a woman I want to attract to Boston because I have strong feelings for her, and we can't satisfy our lust while we exist miles apart. I'm hoping that she'll listen to me and pack her bags and move to me. There is a spare room in my flat, and with her in it I can remind her every day that she is wonderful and funny and smart and kind. Life has slapped her around, and I hate a bully. Wither her here, I can work to soften to blow. With my arms around her body I can at least feel like I'm protecting her. It's not that she is weak, or that I think women need men to protect them. People who love each other protect each other. Part of the way she would want to protect me is to let me think that I'm protecting her.
I'm in no position to lure people from far away. What have I to offer? Not much except love, loyalty and a desire to please her, to make her laugh. She deserves happiness. I'm unable to move to where she is, so the idea of her packing her bags and letting me take her here for a new life with me appeals greatly.
Were I a good man, I would stop seeking the company of women, all of whom deserve better than the likes of me. But I'm a mediocre man, and Nancy would fit into my life here in Boston nicely. My health problems wouldn't bother her too much. She thinks I'm smart, funny and compassionate, and our politics line up nicely.
Come to me, Nancy. I'll help with the cost of moving. Take the leap with me, though. If it's too much to ask, though, I understand.
On July 4th, at around 9am, I walked into Walgreen's in East Arlington and walked to the pharmacy. Half way there, I developed an "aura," which means I saw light all around the magazines and candy that they sell in the aisle in which I was walking. Soon I was mostly blinded by the bright light and knew that a seizure was in the mail. As I turned to walk out of the store, I fell unconscious.
I'm told that I had a full tonic-clonic seizure, which involves the whole brain and is idiopathic. That means of nebulous cause. My jaw froze shut and I shook violently...they tell me. As a result, my whole body hurts, especially my jaw. All the little muscles danced.
"Do you know where you are, sir?" is what I remember being asked next. And "Do you know your name?" I didn't right away, but their sense of urgency scared me. The sensations added up to the conclusion that I was in a speeding ambulance; the siren, the questions, and when I could open my eyes (rarely) I could see that I was strapped to a gurney.
The rest of the day was all about tests. An MRI and EEG, and oodles of blood work. Since I was strapped to a backboard and wearing a neck brace, I couldn't get up to defecate or urinate during my stay in the ER. And since they weren't sure I didn't attempt suicide, I had a security guard staring at me for an hour or two. It must say somewhere that I'm crazy.
I shit into a bedpan, and was cleaned up by a cute, young nurse. It was totally humiliating in a way that would be impossible to overstate. Total humiliation.
To my surprise, they kept me in Mt. Auburn Hospital for the night, and I watched Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture on television. It was, after all, July 4th. In the distance I could hear the fireworks.
What do I have to offer anyone? I'm 37 and alone and have screwed up more than my fair share of relationships. But I do so enjoy the company of a woman I love, or am even simply fond of. To be inside a woman like that, to hear her laugh when she knows I'm going to orgasm, to feel her orgasm around me...and to hold each other. To talk without any nicety...to be honest. Two apes honestly exploring each other physically, emotionally and intellectually. No bullshit. To feel safe.
To hold and be held, to hold and be held, to hold and be held. If only I were worth it. If only I were worth it. If only I were worth it.