Sunday, February 09, 2020

Sorry, but I get the Oscars

Henry called tonight. I didn't pick up. Then he emailed. I'm not answering. I am watching the Oscars. I wait all year for this. I'm not giving it up.

Since his accident in 2018, Henry and I have spent countless hours on the phone. The calls are marathons, and they follow a pattern. He asks me about me, then after a perfunctory few moments, the subject changes to him. His confusion. His frustration. His victimization. Much of what he says is fantasy or drivel.* It gets tiresome, so I try to change the subject again, so we can hang up on a positive note. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

For example, last week I tried to switch to a concert he'd attended with Reg and Reg's friend, Patrick. He didn't care much for the performance, so I attempted to find a highlight by asking about the venue.

"Have you ever been there before?"

"No."

"What was it like?"

"It has not changed since last time I was there."

"Honey, that doesn't make sense."

 "Yes, it does. I was there all the time in 2009. That was 20 years ago!"

How do you have a conversation like that?

I know he can't help this. But he gets so mad at me he growls. Literally growls like a werewolf. Then I'm upset for hours, or days, afterward. I can't tell you how many showers I've spent replaying these calls in my head.

I know Henry loves me, and that it's a compliment that he reaches out to me. It means he trusts me when he's feeling vulnerable.

But tonight is Oscar night. I love Oscar night. I get Oscar night.

I'll answer his email before I go to bed. I want him to know I'm with him in spirit. I'm always with him in spirit. But I get Oscar night.


*He can't help this, I know. He is still recovering from a traumatic brain injury. If you read the section on "Behavioral Impairments," you'll get an overview of my Henry.

2 comments:

  1. There are some people that are toxic to me - they such me dry of all of my positive and happy energy. I keep my distance and spend as little time with people like that as possible. Sadly, I think I would stop answering. Relationships are give and take and both parties should get something out of it - there is not much that you are getting out of it.

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  2. Oscar night is one night--one special night.

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