I think I'll go ahead and write this now, Monday evening. So I can still use the present tense. Using the past tense is going to suck. There's still a chance that this entry will go to waste. I would love to waste this entry. He will think it's hilarious, that I put all this effort into fiction.
My friend WomanRepellant is in the hospital. That's why he didn't call me Saturday morning like we'd arranged. He was in the hospital then, and he's in the hospital now, And he will never leave the hospital, except in a bag.
Because, you see, he is dying.
He. Is. Dying.
Present tense. That's important.
Don't even bother asking me why he's in the hospital. I won't tell you. It's probably none of your business, and I want to respect what privacy he has left regarding all this.
I went there today, to the hospital. I wasn't going to go, but LaptopGirl talked me into it. She was right, of course, but I still shouldn't have gone. Not as far as I went. Not all the way into that room.
I stood outside that room for what seemed like hours. I could see, through the window, some old man on the bed, his face turned away from the hallway in which I stood. Unconscious, thankfully. I wish I would have been.
It wasn't until I actually steeled myself enough to go into the room, and I saw his face, it wasn't until then that I was able to recognize that the old man dying in that bed was my friend. Up until that point, I could kinda pretend to myself that it was all some horrible mistake.
Is my friend. Fuck.
And now that is going to be the last image I have of him. Not sitting at the bar at Sluttopia a couple of weeks ago, laughing about something or other. Not any of the countless times we sat together at Rich O's and made fun of weirdoes and leered at pretty girls. Nope, as my last image of my friend I get to have him on his death bed.
So, I wanted to tell a little story. The story of how he got his nickname.
See, before the nickname WomanRepellant was chosen, I'd been having a very tough time coming up with a good nickname for him. I mean, he was rapidly becoming one of my best friends, but nothing I tried seemed right for him. I tried stupid nicknames like WhiteHairDude and a few others, but none of them worked. None of them fit.
Then, one day in August 2005, I was sitting at Rich O's talking with HatGirl. I'd only known HatGirl for a couple of weeks at that time. I didn't even know she had a boyfriend. I had already developed a major crush on her, and being able to sit and talk with her that day after work was a very pleasant surprise.
I wrote this, back then.
I was really having a hard time keeping from jumping into HatGirl's eyes and swimming around, but after a while this dude showed up and sat with us and HatGirl left pretty much immediately. Just a coincidence I'm sure. Not.
of course, was WomanRepellant. His new nickname was born on that spot, on that day. Even though, as it turned out, HatGirl had left for a completely unrelated reason, the name WomanRepellant had already stuck.
He thinks it's a very funny nickname. Much better than the ones I've given other people.
Had a quick meal with HatGirl this evening, after I left the hospital. We talked about our friend. She remembers that day as well. Funny how that one brief moment has forever tied the three of us together.
Also on the way home I bought a bottle of Avery The Reverend. It's one of his favorite beers, and one of mine as well. I'll save it. I'll save it until the present tense is no longer appropriate and then I'll pour two glasses, and then my friend WomanRepellant and I will drink it together. And raise a few toasts to the pretty girls.
Future tense. Even better.