Sunday, April 30, 2023

I miss them

I haven't heard from Henry in weeks. He called me when I was in Hollywood for the film festival, and my phone was off. He reported that the police were there, in his Key West home, and he wanted them to leave. He didn't sound sad or frightened, just weary. The message was hours old by the time I received it, and I wasn't sure I should return it. The police have been called to the house before, and that's ended up in the invocation of The Baker Act (a judge has admitted him to a psychiatric facility because Henry was a danger to himself and others). I texted Patrick, a friend who lives there with them during the winter months, and he said that the police were there when he got home. "Henry had no sense of reality, and Reg was drunk and abusive. A total shitshow. But an hour after the police left, Henry was fine. He forgot all about it." Since things were peaceful, I chose not to rock the boat.

Henry's mental state is deteriorating rapidly. He likely will get even worse faster now that they are leaving Key West. Reg missed three mortgage payments. When he went to the bank to pay in person and catch up, he was told that the bank was taking advantage of a clause that entitled them to raise his monthly payments. If that sounds punitive, well, really, it's not. The bank had contacted Reg by both phone and mail during those 90 days, and he ignored the notices. The property already has a lien because Reg has skipped the homeowner association assessments. He has no choice but to sell and move somewhere where the cost of living is cheaper. 

This means pulling Henry away from his routine and the familiar surroundings, like his church. (He gets dressed up every Sunday morning for service.) Even before they move, they have to pack up the house and Henry hates parting with anything. He won't understand perspective buyers opening doors and checking out the property. Thinking of the confusion, even terror, all this will cause breaks my heart.

Especially because Reg refuses to seek counseling for himself or Henry. 

I worry about Henry. I worry about Mork and Mindy, their two very badly behaved chihuahuas. I can't imagine any apartment complex welcoming those yappy beasts -- though their behavior is not their fault. I fear they will be rehomed or put down. 

My heart is sore.

Henry is gone to me.


Similarly, my oldest friend is going through ... something. She's begun a new relationship with Robert and is either gloriously happy, or going through a manic phase. She doesn't have time to talk to me right now. She's preparing for surgery on her leg next week and cooking for Robert and well, busy, busy, busy.


All this would be fine if I thought it was real. She's only known Robert a month. She's counting on him to take her to/from the hospital this week. She has given up her writing -- it wasn't that long ago that her Beatle fan fiction was the center of her life and she wondered about becoming a published romance novelist -- and she's no longer looking for a new place closer to her daughter in Los Angeles. She's going to try to stay in the mountain community she's in (even though six months ago she complained that there is no quality, affordable medical care there) because it's where Robert lives.


A month. She's known him a month. Her landlady wants her out of that apartment. Is Robert going to invite her to move in with him (after a month)? I'm scared for her.


And I miss her. 


She doesn't know how my trip to Hollywood was. She doesn't know I had the flu. She doesn't care. Busy, busy, busy.  

I've known her since Kindergarten. I have so much history with her. When she's herself, she is funnier than anyone I know. But she's bipolar. I know she can't help the mood swings, but it's hard for me to hang on. (Especially because when she's manic, she acts like her depressive self never existed so I can't ask her: "Are you seeing your shrink? Are you on your meds?")


But I'm holding on. I sent her a little get well gift -- a little kitten-shaped dish she can use for her meds as she recuperates -- that she should get Tuesday. I want her to know I'm here. I think that matters to her more than she might realize right now.


I owe Elaine an email. She wants to get together for pastrami at the deli around the corner. 


My former art director wants to come out here for seafood and tater tots at my favorite sports bar because she thinks it would be fun to listen to me and her boyfriend talk baseball.

Nancy and her husband Paul just left me a note on Facebook: "We love you, you know."

But I don't want Elaine, my art director or Nancy and Paul. I want my oldest friend and Henry.