We met on J-date.
It seems like forever ago. After my dad died and I realized that if I didn't do something about my single status, my life could quickly have regressed into an Italian Opera... the one where the brother sells his sister to a Duke to keep the family home afloat. I'd seen Richard Armitage's Robin Hood series in which Guy "sold" Isabella to some wealthy butt munch (as the kids like to call them). With a lot of trepidation and even more panic I hit the internet. I needed to meet people and I needed to not look in the same places I had been looking.
At the time I was studying Kabbalah (not the Madonna Hollywood mumbo jumbo.... the real stuff that got people killed in the middle ages) and about 2 years into the study, after my dad died, I found out I was Jewish. Inspired by both desperation and adventure I decided to check out the Jewish dating sites. I found myself on J-date. And I found that looking for a Jewish guy was going to entail a lot of driving or learning to fly on a plane because they were all a minimum of 6 hours away. You will recall those early adventures as I have written about them here on the blog. If not, I will throw links up to the old stories at the end of this post. You will also recall that I started the blog right about then. Since I was making the move to find my tribe on the internet, through the burgeoning social media scene and the blog-o-sphere where people seemed to be able to make money doing what they loved, I thought that I would troll the dating sites to see if I could find some writing buddies.
And there he was. Hanging out in Chicago and rebuilding life after a divorce and health issues, the profile said he was a writer. In fact he was a blogger, writing about surviving a heart transplant. His profile picture showed a kind and genial face, nothing threatening or Neanderthal looking. I sent him a message but without my own profile pic (no technology at the time) he didn't want to start something he couldn't be sure would amount to anything. Admittedly, I was a little offended. But with a few months more of experience under my belt all offense melted away. He did respond to my counter offer as I had said that I wrote him because he was a writer on the internet and I didn't think dating would be possible because I wasn't willing to drive to Chicago or demand anyone drive to Northern Michigan. He agreed to being writing buds. And a friendship was born.
For a while, as I was at the local Michigan works office trying to figure out how to rebuild my plans to start my own stamp business, we were in daily communication if not email then by phone. I only had a few short months to get it together if it was going to happen. It didn't. And he was there for that whole frustrating and depressing scenario. He was there when I found my job at the first hotel. And after a few weeks of talking he agreed to come up to see me. In the mean time, with his encouragement I started the blog. It took a few months to get into a writing pattern. And I am still learning what I can and can not write.
When we met, it became clear to him that we were not going to date. I told him that straight away because I knew I wasn't his type. But we have an undeniable empathy toward one another. We are kindred and at times so at odds with our birth families that we only had each other. And so we adopted each other as siblings. After a while I introduced him to you guys as ACG: A Chicago Guy. And he started commenting here to claim his right to be identified. You've seen his comments, Shayne. And Shayne has had a lot more to say that what he says on the blog.
For a while it was our only means to communicate because there was no phone. But there is always free wi-fi somewhere. It just isn't always convenient. I guess I didn't really realize how important Shayne was until I hit that spot with Sir Knight and the Other One. We kept each other company when there was a phone handy. When I was living in the hotel during the winters we talked every other day. He helped me to feel normal even in the middle of chaotic abnormalities. And he always encouraged me to keep hope that things would straighten out and I would be on my own again. But it was all the episodes with Sir Knight that Shayne proved to be a steadfast and diligent friend.
Shayne has had his own encounters with the weird and inexplicable things that happen in the realm of spirit. Being Jewish by faith and upbringing it was pretty easy to talk Kabbalah stuff even though he thought that I was crazy for studying it. I gott a clearer picture of the things that have bothered me since I was a kid about the way that the West studies the Old Testament. He had his own platform of experience, it wasn't hard to talk to him about the past life & out of body stuff. Even if he couldn't accept the commonly accepted explanations he didn't condemn them. We just had to accept there were things that could not be explained with his or my understanding. The singular experience of having Sir Knight in my life and all the crazy complications past lives have in the present were a mystery to us both. But Shayne at least was able to help me navigate it all, sometimes with a lot of eye-rolling and face palming. And where the going wasn't only tough but downright painful he was sympathetic. And when it was time to cut Sir Knight lose, he was the voice of empathic reason constantly reminding me of why it was healthy to let the relationship go. Shayne was on the other end of the phone listening to the quiet sobs when I was done with the wracking sobs. If there was one thing he understood it was heartbreak. We watched a couple of Turner Classics together over the phone to take our minds off of the romance troubles.
Tonight, more so than any other night in the last two years, Shayne is on my mind. In the last two years he has undergone some mighty physical pain and recovery. Surgeries and infections alternating between short stints of physical therapy and dialysis have been his life since the initial surgery to deal with some knee and back pain. Nothing in the last two years has lead me down an introspective path in regards to our relationship because I have always been assured that he would come out of the situation. Tonight I am no so assured.
I spent the day getting family stuff done with my new adopted family. After we had lunch things got weird quickly. I'd been my usual surly self when we got into the car. I felt social but not. It isn't every day that we get to do things, the four of us, so I just went with it. But a few miles down the road I was hit with the overwhelming desire to leave my body. Tee thought I looked car sick. I was just tired. And I didn't want to be in my body. We got to the restaurant and I said "I've got a really bad feeling." I have new experience being stalked (tell ya that one later). And I had that feeling crawl over me that raises hackles and sends the Spidey senses tingling. I couldn't shake it. I started to feel sick half way through lunch. It's that kind of sick you have from being past full. But I wasn't. And I felt a pall crawling across my skin. We continued with the rest of the day. As we headed to the first errand on the list I told the girls that I felt weird again. "Something is going on.... I think we are going to run into someone I don't want to run into." Several more errands and the skeptic in our group was starting to get worried about me. We got home and settled in. Couldn't enjoy the movie for anything.
When Tee went to bed she said she felt like she should lock the door. We do not normally because we all feel relatively safe. But tonight something is about.... So I went to bed. By bed I mean to my room. And I still couldn't shake the bad feeling. So I did what I've been doing since I haven't been able to have a lot of contact with Shayne. I got on Facebook with the idea that I would hit Pintrest for some Spring inspiration. And there are people wishing Shayne well.
Some of the comments sounded like he was already gone. And I knew in an instant that the feeling I had was Shayne. When he had his transplant there were complications and he spent some time outside of his body. He told me more details than what he puts in his blog. So I know that this time it is a serious turn. He is out of his body right now, walking about visiting with people, trying to get attention. And I feel like absolute shit.
As I said, we both have had some health issues. And with the changes in my life just in this year alone it hasn't been easy to talk to Shayne. He got to hear about Sir Knight's last antics. Yeah, no sorry. Not writing about that here. I don't want to lend any spiritual energy to that door since I finally have it closed. He got the identity of the person I ranted about stalking me home last weekend. And he knows that I am dating, have turned the corner on financial stability even though I am a long way from being stable. And he knows that there have been some deep issues. He just hasn't had any details. While he has been in the middle of this long lasting health crisis he has suffered with depression. I don't want my bad days to make his worse. And I don't want my good fortunes to make him feel badly.
We agreed a while back that because we are both so precariously perched in this life that we wouldn't weigh each other down with the depressing stuff. Each health setback makes it harder and harder to talk because we made that promise. And it make it harder and harder, almost impossible to encourage him to hold on to this existence. Folks, it really is pretty shitty. He hasn't been in his own bed for more than a week this last year. He is cycling through hospitals, short term care, long term care and was facing assisted living just 5 days ago. His body just gives out. Each time they bring him back it gives out. And it is so hard to stay positive for him. He hangs on for his kids. He hangs on for the guilt. And I am a selfish person who measures what I have done against what I have received and if I were in his place I would say "I deserve some peace." And we talked seriously about it. When my body clearly has said "I am done with this world, grab your shit we are going home." I don't want anyone to keep me here. How can I tell him to keep hanging on when I know I wouldn't?
So gradually we've stopped sending emails. links to goofy cartoons, and the like. He isn't really in much of a position anyway. But that doesn't mean anything, does it. He is my friend and I've let him down. Of course he wouldn't say that. And if I were talking to anyone else I wouldn't say that. He knows that I think of him often as I know he thinks of me. And no matter how long in between conversations we are connected. I am just being a lazy Aquarius and depending on that connection... I'm also an overwhelmed Aquarius. But he's been here tonight. He's been hanging around all day. That is what he does when he's close to leaving or there is major work being done on his body. And who could blame him. I certainly wouldn't want my soul to stick around for that.
I've been thinking how selfish we all would be to want Shayne to stick around when his body is fighting so hard to go home. He is in pain. The only thing that is healthy for another decade of life on Earth is the heart that was transplanted. Everything else is falling apart. He will never be strong enough to leave assisted living again. They told him that much last week. So he won't be able to be the dad he wants to be, or that his kids want him to be. He won't be able to write anymore because his brain function has been curtailed. A month ago when he sent me a really screwed up text he said that the doctors said it would go away when the meds wore off from a procedure. It hasn't stopped happening. He'd lost interest in everything that brought him relief from the health issues a while ago. Sports was the only thing he found interesting. He's talked about being too tired to hang on for almost a year now.
And maybe that is part of why we don't talk. I can't tell him to let go because he feels such a strong need to be there for his kids. And I can't tell him to stay because I can hear the pain and I know there is no relief for him this side of life. Maybe we've just been getting each other used to him not being here. I get that way when a relationship needs to end. I guess that is how I figured out I was over Sir Knight. Did you ever think that was possible? Shayne didn't. All I know is that if it were me in his body with that situation I would tell everyone to piss off and let me move onto the next phase of the soul's journey. I don't deal well with that kind of pain. God only knows how Shayne has managed for this long.
As I have been writing this the foreboding feeling has gone away. But not the feeling that I am not alone in my room. I feel someone here with me. And I am pretty sure it is Shayne. If he lets go I will be glad for him. But I am going to be upset for myself. He has a sweet, slightly neurotic soul and never really felt terribly understood. And I suspect that without Shayne here I will never get another comment on my blog. He seems to be the only one who reads it.
I will update this post as necessary. And I will add those links later... writing through tears has given me quite the headache.