Dear Diary,

The past several weeks have been full of stress and uncertainty. I’m moving; there are potential buyers trafficking through my house while I’m at work, and I come home to the strange scents of their perfume lingering in my kitchen or the ghost of an alien aftershave in my bathroom.

I am very particular when it comes to who I invite over to my house; it’s a very private sanctuary. Now to re-trace the invisible footsteps of strangers as I straighten the dining room place mat someone moved aside or close the living room curtains spread wide open by unknown hands…I feel as if I have no place, nowhere that is my own.

Last month Lover said to me, “Seeing you is like a mini-vacation, every weekend,” and I felt just the same. But for the past several weeks, our weekends have become just a few hours, hardly a day together as other responsibilities take precedence over playtime.

“Soon you’ll live closer, and we can see each other more often,” he has assured me, but it does not make me feel better now.

Then…the sickness descended.

I am hardly ever sick. I often joke that this is because I was hippie-raised free-range, back in the bad old days of running barefoot everywhere outside and drinking unfiltered water from a garden hose.

I’m still healthy as the proverbial horse.

No, it was Lover who fell suddenly and violently ill.

Last Saturday we cancelled our plans for the weekend. At first, he was just sniffling, progressing to chills and a fever on Sunday. Monday I came by with soup and crackers and an eclectic assortment of Gatorade. He was pale and sweaty, his apartment set to a tropical 78 degrees while he was bundled up in a heavy bathrobe.

I suggested that perhaps he should see a doctor, but he brushed my concerns aside with a cough.

Wednesday I came by early in the morning, bringing chai tea and scrambled egg crepes from Crepeville. He was a little better but thin, thinner than he had been before. He tired very easily, and I spent the day quietly helping out with small household chores and taking a long nap on his couch before driving home again.

Friday night I returned, and I was truly shocked that he was still so ill. I, who have never been sick for more than a day, maybe two. I stocked his refrigerator with orange juice and soup, fruit and an egg salad sandwich for later while I mulled over how to make this better. We talked a bit about our day before I just faded away completely, exhausted by a long day of work and stress and strangers in my house.

Saturday I cleaned the loft–vacuumed, washed dishes, and laundered laundry. It felt a little strange to be completing household chores at someone else’s home, even his. Lover looked a bit gaunt, now, but seemed to be improving overall.

“This is the sick-test,” I suddenly realized; this was the moment when even though I really wasn’t having very much fun, I was still content just trying to help out while keeping a minimum safe distance and washing my hands–a lot.

That afternoon we finally connected again, finding the usual rhythm of our conversation and common ground. And I felt like I had found my place, after all; it’s here, or anywhere with him. This is the sniffling sneezing coughing aching stuffy head fever just rest and I’ll take care of it kind of affection.

Congrats, I think, as he sinks into sleep. We made it; we passed the sick-test.

That is, I suppose, until the day that I fall sick…but that will be a different story altogether.




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