It is evening, I stare out the window of the plane and I catch my reflection since the cabin lights were on. I look thin and ragged, and I can see the homemade bib I have on to absorb the drool because it is white. It ain't pretty, but it is something, so I laugh. I recall being confused the first week of rehab as to why do I drool a lot more. What really happened? No one really told me thinking I would give up on the spot, I guess. But, they don't really know me. We “stole” the towels from the hospital, when the Dr. frowned at me walking around drooling by the front desk. Putting two holes in them and used a shoelace to tie it on, making several. It served a dual purpose, I could tie my stomach tube to it to keep it high, so I don’t lose all my precious liquid “dinner” on the road. Am no longer embarrassed wearing it. I have lost 30 lbs in a way I could never imagine, and I am coming home from the hospital. My partner, at the time, will pick my brother and I up from the airport. It feels very awkward, knowing that my brother needs on get on with his life. My whole world has been turned upside down, and we know time moves forward whether you are on board or not.... it has now been 8 weeks and I still can’t talk or even eat. Walking sort of Charlie Chaplin like, hitting things with my left side. Luckily, I can't feel it.
A limo driver is waiting for us, and I am so embarrassed. Is it because I look like hell? No, It is more about the waste of money. The same money that I gave him and is never worth it but my partner arranged for this. I should be happy it is done out of love, but it reminded me of being nursed to death. It points to what is wrong in our relationship, and this seems a continuation of drama of us seeing the world in different ways. But I can’t even pop the champagne they had in the car. I did not know yet, that I could pour alcohol down my stomach tube …that would come later. I would have been happier just grabbing a bus and rail back home, it would feel like more progress.
Ten years pass…
A jet is landing in Bangkok, raining like hell, lightening seen through the streaked windows with the landing gear lights on, we are landing after an exciting three weeks in Sri Lanka. This is our second trip. My life partner and I are talking about what we liked this trip, trying to gloss over the fact that I will continue on upon landing, parting yet again. Luckily we don’t cry when we kiss and say goodbye in private, knowing polite Thai society. Our “honeymoon” was in Hong Kong, two years previously and it had really cemented our relationship. I am just beginning to learn from him. We were working towards common goals, even separated by a huge ocean. That was his first international flight, to start to fill his passport with stamps. He so wisely applied for it just before we met solely with dreams of travel. The plane is almost ready to touch ground when suddenly it is jerked severely up to the sky again in what feels like 30°, warning announcements are heard on the PA and we are close enough to hear the cockpit warning beeps. This is bad, too many factors are involved. Worriedly, my partner looks at me with which is unlike him, and I reassure him that this is normal procedure and probably a plane was on our landing strip. I am trying to hide my fear to make him feel better, but this rapid ascent is way beyond anything I have ever experienced. The passengers are all quiet, but if they would scream we would hardly hear them as the engine sounds are so deafening. Thinking, we might die now, and never have to say goodbye. That’s a plus…. and then the plane banks left and levels out. I exhale and think, not yet...we had plans.