(First of ten snippets about my longtime friend P., who in the past few years lost his health, his home, his lover, his cat and portions of his mind. I was spending a lot of time with him in the first half of 2005, but now I’m not. These snippets are all from the past; where it says "yesterday," it doesn't mean yesterday.)
I called P. yesterday to see if he wants to see the new movie Robots. We saw the preview together, and I was enchanted by the animation. Since I see P. every Monday night for an AA meeting and all day Sunday for McDonald’s and a movie, lately I’ve been not calling him mid-week.
Last week, I didn’t call him Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and by Thursday I got a phone message, where I could hear P. saying, "What do I do?" and one of the women who works at his care facility saying, "She’s not there. Leave message. Leave message!" Then I got a second message, Siring or Gloria saying, "Please call back to P."
But I did call him this week, to talk about the movie. I’ve found it’s difficult to get him to answer a direct question one way or the other, and the first time I asked him about Robots, he didn’t say anything.
The second time, he gently said he didn’t want to see it, which I assured him was fine. He said, "I love you as much as I always do, but I don’t want to see that movie." I told him I didn’t have a problem with that, that I had asked in order to discover his preference so we could end up seeing something we both might enjoy.
His conversation can also seemingly be disjointed, though I suspect that there’s a perfect logic there for him internally, because he is consistent in his disjointedness.
In the cab last week, the day he said he didn’t after all want to see the movie he’d said he wanted to see (which also happened to be one I particularly wanted to see: Gunner Palace), I asked him, "What kinds of things could we do together if we didn’t see movies?" He paused, and then said with some degree of exasperation, "Life isn’t perfect!", which caused our driver to snicker.
It sounded like he wasn’t answering my question, or perhaps that he was covering up for the fact that he couldn’t think of anything we might do, but I think that, by his own reasoning, that was simply the correct answer.