“In death, he becomes the essence of love.”
I guess I could put this in my drafts along with the almost 800 other ones.
Doug messaged me tonight.
Which meant I had to download Messenger and reinstall it, which isn’t hard, but it did take a minute since everyone is on the Internet screaming “Roll Tide.”
Plus I always forget my password, being an early adopter of Facebook not withstanding.
So, I’m slow.
Finally I message him back and he says, “Are you mad at me?”
“No of course not! Why would you think that?”
“Because it took you about thirty minutes to reply.”
He goes on to tell me what’s going on with him.
He’s on hospice now and has almost overdosed on pain meds twice so far.
Of course I’m shattered to hear this but he says, “It’s ok, I’m ok. But the pain is so hard to deal with Angel.”
We talk about pain and how much we owe, in the sense that we came unscathed through the tempest.
(He’s says that. He was unscathed. I was not.)
But I know what he means. He means he’s glad now that I said no.
He means he’s glad we can talk to each other without shame.
He means he’s glad to have me back in his life as the rock-solid friend I always was.
He ties up a few loose ends about the publishing event we were involved with and asks my advice about a final interview with a national reporter.
“I’m not sure if I should do it. I’m afraid of leaving too much on the table.”
I know that he wants me to interview him. I’ll be much softer on him than the national guy would.
I volunteer (again) and he says he’ll think about it.
“Not for publication, but would you write the questions and come interview me for a DVD for my family? I know I could use my IPad and tape myself, but I don’t know what to say.”
“Of course I will buddy. Let’s plan on Saturday.”
“Ok Angel, I’ll call you.”
But I know he won’t call, not about that.
I can tell he’s getting tired so I make up an excuse to log off.
“Wait, don’t go Angel.”
“What is it Doug?”
“You know a few months ago, and a few weeks ago, and all the other times you offered to bring food?”
“Yes, and the offer still stands.”
“Would you make me some fresh banana bread, from the recipe my mom gave you in October?”
“Yes buddy, I will. I’ll bring it tomorrow.”
“I was sipping on a Whiskey when I got the call
Yeah my friend Lex was lying in the hospital
She’d been pretty sick for about half a year
But it seems liked this time the end was drawing near
So dropped my plans and jumped the next London train
I found her laid up and in a lot of pain
Her eyes met mine and then I understood
That her weather forecast wasn’t looking too good
So I sat and spun her stories for a little while
Tried to raise her mood and tried to raise a smile
But she silenced all my rambling with a shake of her head
Drew me close and listen this is what she said
“You’ll live to dance another day,
It’s just now you’ll have to dance,
For the two of us, so stop looking so damn depressed
And sing with all your heart that the Queen is dead”
Frank Turner – Long Live the Queen