I thought I’d been making some headway patching things up with M. and JC.  But upon arrival they seemed stand offish.  I thought maybe things had taken a turn for the worse.

So, I kept my distance out of respect for their feelings.

Maybe the change in attitude had something to do with a conversation I had with JC while standing on the driveway in front of their house one late one afternoon a few days after the operation, when I told her that around midnight that first night in the hospital, crazy with pain, anesthesia and oxycontin I pulled the I.V. tubes out of my arm and used the food tray as a walker,  determined to escape from the hospital until the Charge Nurse a former Air Force pilot, convinced me to go back to my room.

JC listened with fascination, her mouth slightly open.

I heard myself saying words that made me look like a fool but it seemed some force kept pushing the words out.

Before I even finished I knew that, combined with all the other shit that had happened her attitude toward me would be totally changed.  Things would never be the same.

“You’re crazy!” she said.

I started to give some lame excuse when, “You’re crazy!”  She said it again.  A little louder, perhaps a touch of humor in her voice for, the beauty of JC lies in her ability to keep her sweet demeanor while seeing the world objectively at the same time.

We bonded quickly back when it all started.  I sensed her shyness so I gave her special attention.  I listened and asked asked questions because I was interested in the person she was.

I catered to her with Coke or tea or coffee or chips and salsa if she wanted.  I let her know that I was there to serve her.  It became a joke between us.

We had some enjoyable talks. She thought I was funny.  She had a great laugh; one of those “hair trigger” laughs.  We had some good laughs. I was flattered.

An easy going friendship evolved.  Being basically shy myself we were on occasion, each others excuse to get away from all the craziness inside.

One day there were a lot of people.  Things were hectic.  I went back to the gardens to be alone for awhile.  She must have needed to get away from the confusion of the crowd and seeing me gave her an excuse to escape.

And so she and Beck joined me in the shade of  an orange tree out back and we talked.

I showed them the empty nautilus snail shells I find along the canal that the raccoons suck dry, that I put on the concrete bench to bleach white in the sun.  I told them about the fractal nature that underlies every shape in the universe.  It keeps repeating itself over and over with every object in nature, the world, even the universe.  I don’t think they knew or cared about this crazy idea but that’s o.k.  It was ungodly hot outside.  They soon left.  But, I was touched that they were there in the first place.

I enjoy those memories.  I feel proud and a little special that JC, who is beautiful and admired by everyone,  was comfortable enough to separate herself from the crowd occasionally to pay me a visit ..  to talk and laugh.

For years the mutual warmth was a constant factor.   I smile now, thinking about it.  We shared some good laughter.  There were warm feelings too. I was always very proud of that fact.  I still am.

Things have changed.  Or not?  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, I miss them both.

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