I’ve become disengaged. No, my bride-to-be hasn’t run off. I never had one. It’s just that, since my fatal diagnosis, people have become distant.
They say I’ve got six months, what I find to be an awkward amount of time. I’ve got more than enough time to say my goodbyes and a couple of months left over. Nobody knows what to say to me or what to do with me these final months. I suggest to my friends that we go to a movie and they beg off. Sometimes I catch tears welling in their eyes which, for guys, is kind of embarrassing.
I spend time binge-viewing on Netflix and reading but it feels wrong. So I also go on impromptu nature walks, which feels better.
But what happened to my friends? Is my contention that it’s them, not me, that’s become disengaged. They either stay physically away from me, or when they can’t avoid me, they become emotionally disengaged. My girlfriend is the worst.
So, you may ask, why am I so cool about it? I mean, it’s me after all who will soon be joining the quiet invisible.
Yeah, it’s not the best but there’s a plus—I have literally nothing to worry about. Nobody and nothing can hurt me. I have no obligations to fulfill. I could renege on all my debts, break laws, ignore the rules. If I wanted to.
I am free.
So, I’ve got a few months of freedom. Then I go to sleep and that’s it. That’s cool with me.
Okay, I’m upset about one thing. One little thing. Rudy, my old pal, was really having trouble holding back the tears last week. He’s the only one who went to the movies with me. At the end of the movie, he was clearly trying to hide tears and failing miserably. He claimed that he always cries at movies—but this was a comedy.
Later that day, he got hit by a bus. Today, I’m at his funeral. I’ve still got a month left to mourn him. But first I’m going to a movie. A comedy. I need a good cry.