Sunday, February 09, 2020
Sorry, but I get the Oscars
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?"
"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.