I was alone. I was sharing custody so half the time, I was truly alone. I really never understood why the complete details of my accident and injury escaped my family. I always assumed they had other things that were more pressing in their minds but in reality I think I just never remembered to tell them.
I was alone.
I am remembering the day that I saw his profile on Yahoo. I had to read it several times and for some oddball reason, despite the fact that I was nothing like what he said he was looking for that I would say hello. If anything, it would make a good story. I took the plunge and said something clunky like “Excuse me”, or “Hello there”. Whatever it was it was tenuous because the non-clinical on-line world was still foreign to me. I was happy when he answered me back. He was a doctor caught up in his own world of hurt, who despite dodging his own shit-storm, saw seeing to me something worthy of his energy and time. For that I will be grateful until they day we die. He had a hand in saving my life.
We were chat friends for a few months before we met. We spent concentrated time together that first encounter which was for me a once in a lifetime experience. Little did I know there was a method to his madness, and I expect that when he reads this he will smile that I finally figured it out. I was nervous and jumpy when I met him. I did not understand myself well, because I did not know that the medication I was taking had made a zombie out of me. It was the most lovely four days of my life but when it was over, we both knew we would not be lovers. I still remember what the three weeks with no contact felt like, and finally I could not take the “Steve-less-ness” any longer and I asked to see him.
When I visited him for the first time since our “break-up”, I realized that I had been given a far greater gift by the Universe, God or whatever power controls us, than ever before. He was living in sober housing, a place where men in recovery from substance abuse and alcoholism live. He was a non-practicing physician deeply entrenched in his own quest for survival. He had lost everything and while trying to reconcile his life, in the midst of all of that, he took me under his wing and led me safely through the valley of the shadow of death as I faced down one of the biggest physiological demons of my life. Addiction.
It took two months to safely withdraw me from the medicine that had already stolen so much from my life. I de-toxed in his arms and throughout my withdrawal he was never far away. For the first time since my accident, I was finally able to sleep soundly without fear. In the aftermath, there were cognitive deficits that he addressed with me. I could not read clearly, and I could not write clearly. I certainly could not think clearly. He graciously helped me to progress in my graduate education while I was healing.
He did all of this without “practicing medicine”. I will never let him forget that. I owe Dr. Steve my life. I can never repay what he has brought into it.
In the five years since, he and I have become regulars at a favorite Chinese restaurant, where we ALWAYS eat eggplant, and where the staff think we are a couple. Often, we nap together, and me, safe and secure, always happy and satisfied in the knowledge that he watches over me, can finally rest.
Watching him now, poised at the starting line of a brand new and satisfying life for him, I could not be more honored than to be the one allowed to partner with him in the final professional “push” in the direction of his wildest dreams.
I feel a little eggplant coming on ….and a nap. Aren’t we the lucky ones?