9 SEPTEMBER 2015 —
Poor Chris had a conundrum this morning: he had no idea whether to go to school and work as normal or go and check on his mom and assist her today. She was sent home yesterday after her hospital visit and it left Chris incredibly exhausted by the time he came home. I had ordered gnocchi last night from one of my favorite restaurants for him because I figured he hadn’t eaten all day. He came home and said, “I’m not hungry.” Most of the time, I’d roll my eyes and be upset, but I understand that he had an emotionally draining day. I wasn’t going to push it. We started talking. Moments of stress, anger, tears, sadness, seriousness, all of the “deep” emotions perplexed him and me. We sat on the balcony smoking cigarettes for quite awhile before Chris finally settled in. When he did settle, he ate some gnocchi and fell asleep in the living room. I fell asleep on the couch and woke to see his to-go container had been emptied completely. He’s sad, he’s tired, he’s having a hard time. I was not going to stress that he take time to eat the gnocchi, but he did. I’m happy he did. Those gnocchi may have been the only comforting thing for him yesterday.
Tonight was the same situation as Chris came home from a day with his family and checking on his mom. Her health is not good and her condition is not the best. She can’t speak at all and it seems as though she is paralyzed on one side of her body. As Chris walked in the apartment, I could see frustration on his face and the need for a cigarette. He started talking about his day and his feelings and I began to put my shoes on.
“Let’s go get cigarettes,” I said.
He looked at me and told me to sit down and relax. “I’m not mad at you, bubs. I’m frustrated with my family.”
I know that Chris wasn’t upset with me, but today I didn’t have any gnocchi, so cigarettes were going to be today’s gnocchi. We talked all the way to the convenience store and I asked Chris if he wanted something to eat. He said he wasn’t hungry and that he was not feeling like eating. He was so irritated that he couldn’t think of eating. I wasn’t really hungry either (that’s a first). We got home and had cigarettes on the balcony and talked. He asked me what time his favorite Mexican restaurant closed. He’s hungry. He’s tired. He called in an order for enchiladas. Tonight’s comfort came in the form of nicotine and Mexican food.
Chris and I ate and settled in for some Netflix. We’ve been binge-watching Keeping Up Appearances. We’re both obsessed with Hyacinth! She reminds me a lot of me and my obsession with social graces. As we watched with the Kindle leaning against a throw pillow as a stand, I was checking Facebook. I went though the timeline to see that my favorite coffee shop is going to close due to building issues. I’m so upset for them. I have gotten so accustomed to them being there and have gotten to know the staff and owners well. I’m so sad to see them go. They say they’re looking for a new spot. I’m so annoyed for them. Whether it’s building problems or a shitty landlord or both, I wanted them to stay there. I’m kind of bummed. I don’t want to make my own coffee again. There’s been so many changes this last couple weeks. I see very little of Demetria in the salon these days as she’s taken on a couple other part-time gigs, my favorite coffee shop is closing tomorrow at 1pm and I interviewed for a new housekeeper today. I know I’ve been preparing for changes, but a few at one time seem extreme, ya know?
All my changes in the world can’t even make up for what Chris must be feeling this week. I look at all the stuff I’ve been bitching about lately and I can honestly tell you that I wouldn’t know what to do in my partner’s situation. Chris is a strong person and he’s had a very sudden change regarding his mom’s health and has been there to help. I can’t even begin to compare interviewing housekeepers and taking on new staff members as a calamity that needs attention. Whatever cigarette Chris smokes, he deserves right now. Whatever food he craves, he deserves right now. My little world of hiring, firing and blogging is nothing compared to what he’s dealing with right now.
Gnocchi wouldn’t make me feel any better. I think Chris is pretty goddamned strong… he’s not asking for anyone to bring him anything, he’s being a good son at this moment. I really have seen a part of him I consider amazingly determined. He is not the kind of person to let little things get in his way and when a big crisis like his mom’s stroke came along, he was out and dealing with it. I’m proud of him. I wouldn’t care if all Chris wanted to do was be there at his mom’s side, I would be a good partner and support him and right now. The house getting cleaned and little he/she/he-said situations just don’t matter. This is life and when “life happens” you can’t always have a plan B; sometimes you have to deal with changes immediately. I’m not so good at that as Chris is, but he’s teaching me a lot.