Sunday, September 11, 2005

Slight Reprieve

I got my old life back for just one day.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my parents and my family. They have been extremely gracious and hospitable to me over the last 4 weeks. I could not have gotten through this ordeal without them. Mom has never really had the opportunity to dote on me like she has the others (seeing as how I live several hours away and my other siblings all live within two miles of my parents). This was her chance to be my Mom the way she loves to be. I am not used to that kind of mothering from her and it was getting a little cramped for me. She means well and she is full of love, but after 4 full weeks of it, when I am used to seeing my folks for maybe one weekend every other month – it was beginning to choke me a little.

When my best friend Jeff, who lives about 5 miles from my parents, said he was going to go to DC for just one night to attend the gay rodeo stuff, I jumped at the chance to tag along and spend the night – alone – in my own bed in my own house. So excited was I, that the night before the trip, I could not get to sleep. Just the thought of getting back to normalcy for me got me so tanked up that I was still awake at 5AM, and Jeff was picking me up at 8.

He and I drove the three hours to DC and it was like old times. He and I used to spend countless hours and miles together, traveling here and there, laughing at each other, playing CDs in search of the perfect drag queen song. We don’t get much chance to spend time together anymore. We talk on the phone about once a week now and get updated on each other’s lives. And its still important for us to meet the other’s current dating partner – for validation, I guess. I miss his physical company sometimes, and this was a lovely journey back home, via memory lane.

We arrived at my house which didn’t look awful considering my roommate moved to Chicago about three weeks prior. The grass was a little long, but there was no mail dripping out onto the ground like I expected, and no broken windows or vandalism, which is surprising considering my neighborhood. I walked in the front door and I immediately felt 100% better. For the first time in a month, I felt like myself again. And I gave myself the reassurance that I would be okay, and that I could do this – I could go back to my daily routine, such as it is, and feel good again.

Jeff went off to the rodeo stuff, and I went for a walk. I walked around the Dupont Circle area. I stopped in the gym and saw Ex#4, who greeted me with a huge sigh of relief that I looked totally normal and actually healthier. I called my friend Keith, the one who sat with me way back on the night of August 9th when we just thought it was an allergic reaction, and he came to the house with a CD he had made for me, with songs like “Heartbreaker”, “Un-break My Heart”, etc.

After that, it was doing laundry, making myself dinner, checking emails, watching DVDs, downloading music, and all the other boring, but wonderful stuff, that filled my life of ennui. And for the first time since August 10th – exactly one month ago – I cuddled down into my own bed and fell asleep.

Today, Jeff takes me back to my parents place. I go for my final doctor appointment with the surgeon tomorrow morning. Then on Thursday, the 15th, my sister Kim and brother Mike will drive me back down to DC for good this time so that I can once again resume my life and prep for MY move to Chicago on the 28th.

Life’s highway gives you speed bumps, and this was mine. I originally had given my family just a weekend before I would move 1200 miles away. But by the end I will have had 5 weeks with them. Granted it would be nice to change the conditions, but I would not trade that time for anything. How lucky am I to have had that time with my parents at this stage of my life? Oddly, I am almost grateful for the heart attack. Because now, my heart is fuller than its been in a long, long time.


  1. Dop - you got me this morning as I read this blog. I think I have an understanding now what has probably occupied your time the past few days. Truly enjoy your parents now. I understand completely about needing your own space as I so often have felt that occasional 'cramped' feeling when visiting my mom for what amounts to week every 6mos. or so. But I put up with it because she means a lot to me and my visits bring a smile to her face, during a time when I know she still misses my father immensely. Hell, I miss my dad too. He had such a presence. Now I digress. To the point. Love every stinking minute you have with your parents. And if you can, encourage yor dad to truly retire and enjoy his time with family (I'm thinking back to 'Ain't Nuthin' Goin' On But the Rents'). Might give them an opportunity to visit you, but of course not too long.... Still waiting to hear from you/drop me an email. Tony

  2. Dop,
    Glad to hear that you had a little treat of normalcy and that your recovery is going along well.

    Take it easy and stay healthy!


  3. Love them while you still have them, Dop. You can't get any lost time back.

    Great post. Thanks for writing it!