Bugger! Bugger! Bugger!
I couldn’t get to the phone as I was washing the dishes, so I checked it afterward. There wasn’t a message, so I checked my mobile. Nothing there either. I thought it was J. as he was thinking of coming over and going out today. When I saw the number, I knew. I knew. I fucking knew it.
In my dumb, panicky, un-caffeinated state, I put a message up on Twitter asking about term breaks for younger kids in England! Idiot. School has just started!
My friend R. is back home from London. Quite obviously from the above, he is a teacher. What I knew? His father is dying.
It probably shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, as he has a brain tumour. Quite obviously(?) malignant. A few rounds of chemotherapy, but no surgery.
R. and I talked for a while. No one knows exactly when he’s going to die but “they’re keeping him comfortable.” I think everyone knows what that means. Also, the immediate rush to get R. home, plus his sister, who lives in another province.
Not that he knows the proper term, but R. is dissociating like hell! I could tell straight away by his voice alone! Then he told me he was, “just sort of floating back and forth a bit.” I definitely know what that means!
I kept reminding him I was here for him, my schedule was extremely flexible as I still wasn’t working so CALL ME!!! He was completely and utterly disinterested! All he said was: “I’ll keep you posted.” Jesus Christ! I told him back that I’d be keeping an eye on him!
Over the years I became part of their family. I have the same name as his sister, so when I would go over for Sunday dinners (both when he still lived here and when he would come home from the US, the UK) I would joke, “I was the Surrogate <insert name>.”
I have already begun my mourning. I am shaking at the moment and I have been bawling like crazy. I need to do this, anyway. I fear if he’s dissociating this much right now, and not as “here” as I think he is, I may need to catch him when he falls. There will be more of us around him, of course. Nonetheless, he’s probably going to need everything he can get.