Seven years. There's a deadened layer of forgetfulness: was it MLK day when he went into the hospital? The day after? I go into the room where I saw him the last time before the hospital call. In my mind he will always be there leaning back against the table, looking tired, thin, pale. Why didn't I see it? Why didn't he? If he'd gone to the hospital that day, he might be alive now. He was tired he said, from finals. He had lost Lisa already. He wa trying to move on. In my mind I reach to him and hug him and beg him to see a doctor. In reality we just chatted-- he still kept me at arms length. Even at the hospital, he complained to friends on AIM that I was there all the time. He didn't understand why I couldn't leave him there. He would have had to live 30 more years to understand. So many decades stolen from him. A large part of my future taken from me. If he'd gone to the hospital a week earlier, it would not have been the last time.
I think, by the end we both realized that his life would be in and out of hospitals. I think, in the end, he didn't want that life.