He texted if it was a good time to call. It was so I walked to the car for privacy and called. I don’t know how many years it’s been since I’ve heard his voice. It sounded the same. I used to hear his e-mail voice regularly and that eventually turned into his text voice. They’re all the same.
We talked about life. We never talk about that kind of stuff. Our text exchanges only ever involve the moon, dreams, and erotic picture exchanges.
His wife almost died last year. Her name’s Monroe. I had forgotten that detail. In the course of one week it was discovered she had some rare disease, went on life support, was expected to die, and survived. Only one in some ridiculously high number of people contract the disease in the first place and it’s a rare day that anyone survives it.
Everyone was amazed.
He considered himself a caretaker all last year and wondered if the higher powers were challenging him in some way…in a way that involved testing his ability to survive “payback.”
Prior to getting sick, Olas and Monroe were on the verge of getting divorced. The only reason they married was because she had become pregnant and marriage was the resolution at the time. Never did they share anything other than that child…and another one eventually…and a house…but never a home.
He was sitting in ICU, where two people in nearby rooms had just died, questioning why he had to make life and death decisions for someone he had never loved. He chose life. His daughter came in. “Is this a nightmare, Suzy? I mean, this has to be a dream, right? This can’t possibly be reality.”
“No, dad. It’s reality. This is real.”