She is Irish, a beauty with red hair. I say, “You are the prettiest flower in this garden,” as I look around the clinic with 20 more women milling about.
“Thank you, that was nice.”
Last week she told me that she was going through a nasty separation. I think she might be rich. I have a girlfriend, but I always keep my options open. I am not the man I once was, but I am as good once as I ever was.
In 2018 I need love, medicine, money, cell phone, more money, and a weapon. I have all of these. True love from Louie, my dog. Medicine from various healers. I don’t work anymore but love to spend money. My love life and my cell phone need a charge. My weapons are a BB gun, a shovel and a frying pan.
We are not yet married but she has already assumed the role of one who must be obeyed. I cringe when she talks of pain in her back and my world spirals down like a Netflix horror movie. As we lie in bed, the sheets move and bad smells happen. She does sometimes say excuse me in a creepy voice.
We speak. She says, “the dog is peeing on the coat you left on the floor. You are a slob.”
My father’s assisted living home smells like poop. My father has been fading for five years. He now says very little. He will have a chocolate, a piece of fruit, a stiff Vodka Tonic. After his first sip he will say “this tastes good.” I have to keep the conversation going, and I talk about my girlfriend or my health issues. He does laugh and make expressions. He thinks I am a little nutty, like my mother and her Mother. He enjoys my visits.
“Hello Mr. Lebherz, follow me. I am Dr. Ping Pyong.” I shook his hand, entered his office. My girlfriend came behind me which made me worry that I might have to take my clothes off with the lights on.
“I am chief of Kidney Transplant surgery. Could you loosen your pants and lie back on the examining table? Do you have diabetes?” he asked. Yes, for 25 years, for many years, my blood sugar was out of control. I still eat cookies.
He said he needed to check the pulse in my pelvis. He stuck his hand in my pants and lay it flat right next to my special parts. I told my girlfriend to close her eyes, which the doctor found amusing. I made another astute comment that I thought my pulse was in my wrist. I looked at my girlfriend and rolled my eyes as if I was enjoying this. Unfortunately my body is big, my special part is not. If he moved his hand just slightly to the right he would feel this. I broke out into a sweat. He removed his hand and with a frown said your pulse is weak. Strangely, my girlfriend said she already knew this. She was frowning too. I just can’t win these days.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I go into a room with 32 recliners. The people in these chairs are missing feet and legs, and some are missing their minds. Some are old and near death. You sit, a technician sticks inch long needles in a surgery enhanced vein in your arm. A machine runs all the blood in your body seven times through a man-made kidney. After four hours you can go home, dizzy, drained, and thinking fuzzy until the next morning. You have to accept this. Some people give up and stop treatments. They will die within weeks. I thought life would be unbearable. I am actually happier now than before dialysis. I enjoy the small things in life more. Sunshine, my dogs’ wagging tails, my girlfriend’s laughter, a couple strong drinks, good music…the list goes on. Life goes on, thank God.
I do love you, I know I’m not that great at showing it sometimes.
—–> If you love me, why did you run over my lilies with the tractor? Why did you make a giant pile of leaves in the middle of the back yard? I told you not to.
I’m sorry. I have apologized ten times. Those were awful mistakes I made. One bad turn with the tractor and two lilies got smashed in an instant. There was no place else to put the leaves. Two dreadful mistakes which happened two months ago. You need to forgive and forget. I am not perfect. You are very important to me. Please don’t leave. I need you.