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In November

they said you had a month. 

It’s the end of febuary. 

I thought it was rough before. You’ve lost your mind. They are saying a few weeks tops with how quickly you are declining. 

I started sleeping in my own bed months ago. I’m ready but I’m really not. Who could ever be ready? 

I am ready for the change and the movement though,

as much as I can be.

I went to see you today- another friend was there too. 

you were alert and coherent, telling stories of the card counting days. 

the doctor came in and told us all bluntly what’s happening. You started crying. You started searching for other options. I stroked your thigh and pushed your hair out of your face, making sympathetic noises while tearing up. Your other friend edged closer to the door. 

You said you wanted to be alone. So we all hugged and kissed you. 

An hour and a half later I came back. I climbed into bed with you. We cuddled a bit. You cried and I stroked your face. We got very few details out. I said, “what can I do?” you said, “help me die.” I asked whoever else you wanted around - for now you said no one. just me. You said others didn’t care, that you didn’t care. and then when your face started contorting hard,

when the sobs started escaping,

you told me you need to rest. 

"Good night," you said and I respected that. 

I put your chapstick in the bin next to your bed and headed home to be alone. Laying in your big bed, popping kolonopin like candy, drinking wine and hoping to pass out early. Idly looking up pricing on apartments in the area, briefly texting curious friends. curious how to apply to have my dog as a service dog. Long moments of overwhelming thoughts of the future, followed by tears, followed by complete numbness. 

and this is life, folks. this isn’t the last time I’ll deal with this.

because I cannot say it in a better manner- hey everyone, I need you so much closer. Human interaction, I needs it. 

You started sleeping even more. for weeks. Then the pain got so bad you couldn’t sleep.

and now I’m cuddling up to a stomach, bones and a hospital gown. You smell sterile. You cannot keep awake. I’m not sure you know what’s happening- and that’s rough. 

the doctor called me and said I was the only one, the only person you had listed as family or friend. she told me to call your other friends, or family if you have any. Said, “give them a chance to say good bye.” She says if you beat the infection you have a month, a few tops. 

I shake and tears spill all over the sterle, stiff pillow. I kiss your lips, say, “good night, see you later.” 

I don’t fully sob until the parking lot. I haven’t really stopped still- it’s just in intervals. 

I’m trying to fill my head, trying to work a little. mostly staring at the computer screen. 

Your skin becomes waxier. Your head sinks lower into the pillow. Day after day. More skin gathered at your joints. More bruising. More cheekbone. Less time.

Sometimes I stop by your bed just to see that you are still breathing. I stand over you, sometimes perched on my tiptoes, and listen very carefully. in, and out, a wheeze here and there. But still breathing.

then, I can breathe a sigh of relief. 

It really isn’t fair. I’m learning how to live, how to take care of myself, how to be on my own…

and you, you’re learning how to die. 

I try to write more, but it all sounds cliche. Even this sounds cliche. 

They say anticipatory grief is good for you, I say it’s sucking the joy right out of the time I get with you now. The only time I’ll have with you. 

There’s a pretty young thing in front of you 
And she’s real pretty and she’s real into you 
And then she’s sleeping inside of you 
And the talking leads to touching 
And the touching leads to sex 
And then there is no mystery left 

And it’s bad news
I don’t blame you
I do the same thing
I get lonely too

an entry from january

"I guess it sounded very romantic in my head, move 600 miles away, find new life, loving friends & community, strengthen my self respect and self love. But my life is not a crappy coming to age movie. It doesn’t work out like that. The truth is a lot of the time I want to go back "home", until I realize how displaced I feel there. How displaced I’ve always felt there."

There is no going home.

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