I started this weekend with going into see a doctor and get my test results on my balls and the good news is that it isn’t a cancerous tumor in my left nut, but give it time it might turn into one. I felt so relieved to find that out. I had already written myself off as dead by the time I entered the clinic.
On Friday night I had dinner with my girlfriend’s parents. I have met a lot of girlfriend’s parents before, but this time I was beside myself with nervousness and self-doubt. I really wanted to impress these people. This is the first time ever that I had the thought that I would be spending a long time with this girl and having her parents happy with me would mean a lot more than it ever meant before. I’m not a doctor or a lawyer. I’m not rich or come from a rich family. I’m a bartender with a bachelor’s degree who wants to be a writer. I also have a long beard.
I think that I did fine. I just tried to be myself . . . or at least 50% me. 100% me is too much for anyone to put up with, but half me is pretty decent and I find most people like me at half speed.
On Sunday morning I got a call that my grandfather had passed away. While it was supposed to happen any day and last Sunday I had thought he would die by the next Sunday, I was very sad. I got a lump in my throat immediately. It took the day and squeezed the wind right out of it.
My girlfriend and I were outside smoking and we had plans to have brunch with her parents when her legs just buckled from under her and I caught her and had to lay her to the ground. I was in shock. She got up and said she needed to get inside and she fell to the ground again. When I got her to the top of the stairs she went dead weight on me again and when I asked her to respond, she didn’t for a few minutes.
I was scared and having my grandfather die that morning I was sure that I was going to lose my girlfriend too. She called a nurse and tried to figure out what was going on, but nothing came up and she made an appointment for Monday.
We went with her parents to Pambiche, a Cuban restaurant and one of my favorite places to eat for brunch and everything was fine, but my girlfriend got a little nauseous and dizzy, so we decided to go to the hospital.
We got to the hospital and my girlfriend was checking in and I was standing right next to her father. The nurse was talking on the phone to a doctor or another nurse and was talking very loudly.
“…and there is a possibility of pregnancy!” the nurse’s voice boomed across the empty room where her father and I could only shift our weight in nervous energy.
While my girlfriend went to room to room getting lab tests and what have you, I was sitting with her parents in different waiting rooms. There was talk of the US Open golf tournament, differences and similarities between Portland and Pittsburgh, Sci-fi books and a little of this and that to spend the time.
In my head I became sad and lonely. I really love this girl. I have never been surer that I am supposed to be with someone before in my life. I even want to marry this girl and I have never wanted to marry anyone before – I almost asked this one girl because I thought I was just supposed to, but this girl is someone I never want to not see in the morning and not fall asleep with, and now I’m in the hospital waiting to find out if she has some terminal disease and I would only have six weeks to six months with. I wanted to cry, but sitting right next to her father had me choose to be more stoic.
I never thought she would be pregnant, but between being pregnancy and some fatal illness, I would happily choose the clusterfuck of pregnancy. Luckily they found nothing wrong with her and that passing out was actually very normal. I don’t know, I have never passed out without the help of chemicals or a blunt object to the head.
We dropped off my girlfriend at her place and her parents drove me to my parents’ house where the family was getting together. I was a little happy to have her parents see my parents’ house and see that I come from a nice family. Her parents were very gracious and her father got out of the car to give me a proper goodbye and it made me feel accepted. They even asked the next day if there was anything they could do to help my family deal with the memorial. There are good people in this world and I get to deal with them sometimes.
My family was very sad – except my nieces. I played with them for most of the night because they weren’t being very understanding of the grief. My aunt came up from San Diego and we sat on the back deck eating pizza and talking. I can’t tell you how blessed I am to have the family I have and how strong a knit we have. My grandmother was sad but relieved and surrounded by her loving children, grand children and little giggly great-grand children.
I’m exhausted and I cried on the bus this morning when I heard the song Ooh La La by the Small Faces. Just hearing a song about a grandfather telling his grandson about the old days made my eyes water. I had to bring my hat down low over my eyes and just sob a little bit. I had to.
I will miss you Papa. You were a hero and a role model for me. I can only wish to be half the man you were.