On Love and Pooping Part Two: FTW
And now hold on to your seats, because I'm about to get mushier than my own diseased stool.
One summer night I was walking home from work, and saw a new neighbor standing on the sidewalk and he gave me the most blatant elevator eyes I've ever received and frankly, I gave them right back. Tall and confident and slightly greying at the temples, I could've climbed this guy like a mountain. We said "hi" but I scurried past, knowing it was a bad idea to flirt with someone living three houses away (that didn't stop me from fantasizing about it frequently). I started running into this guy semi-regularly, would see him pacing on his cell phone or riding his bike around the neighborhood. Once on my way to the gym he was sitting on his stoop and stopped me to ask what music I was listening to on my ipod. He introduced himself (you and I will call him "J") and we chatted it up a little bit- just friendly small talk. I saw him once more after that and he asked me if I lived on the block or further down the street. I told him just a few houses up, and he tapped the side of his garage and said "I live here." And with my special brand of humor I said, "Well, it'd be creepy if you didn't because you're always sitting outside," and kept on walking. And then I didn't see him again for almost a year. I thought of him on occasion, and even managed to e-stalk him on MySpace. I actually started to think he had moved, but then I bumped into him on my way to the laundromat the following summer and realized he had just been hibernating for the winter. I started bumping into him again and made it a point to re-establish our familiarity.
One day shortly therafter I was on my way to a friend's house and it was blazingly hot. I had taken a popsicle with me to eat on the way to the train so I wouldn't get too hot. As I came down the sidewalk I saw J crouched with his fine ass in the air, arranging a spread of trinkets and things in a little sidewalk sale. I stopped to say hi, trying to look suggestive but not whorey with my popsicle, and he showed me a bunch of the stuff he was selling. I told him that I couldn't take anything then, but if he'd be out again the next day I would come back and he said "okay, and then maybe we could go get something to eat." It was the only time I've ever been point-blank asked out to my face by someone I wanted to ask me out.
J and I have been together now for two and a half years. He is hands down the most loving, caring, patient, and understanding man I have ever known in my life. My disease hasn't played a huge role in our relationship until very recently, but J's handling of the situation has been nearly flawless. I won't get into details out of respect for his privacy, but let's just say J has more than his fair share of personal drama on his own plate. Add to that a girlfriend who's been out of work and collapsed around the apartment in various stages of vomiting, shitting and sleeping for the past month. A girlfriend who gets increasingly bitchy and irritable and has no ability to hold her tongue or cut slack. And then try to get into the bathroom if she needs to go. Miraculously we've only had one blow-up over needing the bathroom at the same time, and it was mostly ugly because we had both just woken up and were barely coherent. We had to cancel our holiday plans to see my family, so my parents wound up coming down for a quick visit. They could only stay for a day and a half, because it's blizzard season in their neck of the woods and they have my elderly grandparents to watch after. While they were here J drove my dad to Costco and later took them both out in the neighborhood to the local bakery. He helped cook a turkey dinner for all of us, and he even cleaned the damned place from top to bottom as I just sat around and watched him while curled in a ball on the couch. He's gone to the pharmacy and grocery store for my constant varying needs, and he always does so without complaint.
Although we're not legally married, I do often regard J as my husband. His fundamental understanding of "in sickness and in health" is a testament to the size of his heart and I have to be the luckiest gal in the world to have him in my life. Awwwwwww.....told you it'd get mushy.