Saturday, December 17, 2011


That's now, right? Solstice in a couple of days?

Today started out kind of better. I was up before my alarm, ish, had an excellent idea for a film or tv property, and did not show signs of "worse for wear" after my (3) bourbons with JS the night before. I was in a fairly chipper state on the drive to Manhattan for Saturday therapy ... no, it's not to make Saturday better... I felt I had "turned the corner" on my depression and was energetic and creative again.

Then the day got colder in more ways than one. And now I am sitting here spaced out, playing solitaire when I know I have plenty to do.

This is the time of year when lots of folks check out. Alejandro, Manuel's father; Cesaria Evora, one of my favorite singers and absolutely evocative of a particular time in my life; I don't know, it seems as if there have been others this week.

But tonight, I am dealing with the reality and serious possibility that my friend Pam is dying. I think of her, possibly alone, in the hospital in Kansas, terrified. Pam has been sick nearly her entire life, but she has a life force and a drive than many are in awe of (count me as one). Indefatigable. But not.

Pam was abused as a child more than once. She suffered from colitis, Crohn's Disease, back in the days when it was less known and inexpertly treated. As the only girl, she was largely ignored, and used as back-up (sometimes first string) domestic. Her mother encouraged her to become a secretary so that she could marry a boss.

We all subscribed, back in that day, to the philosophy of "mando", (no idea where we came up with the term), but it was all about doing everthing you did as much as you could. And Pam did. And that included some bad choices about men and marriages and smoking and drugs and alcohol. And along the way, she had many bouts in the hospital with Crohn's Disease resulting in an ileostomy. The story goes on and on, but that hardly matters for this space.

She wrote to me earlier in the week to tell me she is back in the hospital. They've found a spot on her lungs, a mysterious shaded area, she has multiple fractures on her ribs and her spine (all the steroids over the years have left her with severe osteoporosis), an infected finger that may or may not be amputated.

Tonight she wrote and told me that she had received flowers from two boyfriends of her youth.

Pam: What have u been up to? Flowers from Don and Ed are gorgeous. Today bad day. Prepping for blood transfusion now. More later. Love you!

Me: Flowers from Don and Ed must help a bit. Moi? Trying to relax. Worried about you. Blood transfusion seems very serious. 

Pam: It is very serious. My entire body seems to be shutting down and I'm really scared. Thank you for your love and support!!! Hugs and kisses forever!

Oh, and she's in stage three kidney failure.

Photo by Peter A.Samarin. All rights. reserved.
So, there's nothing to say but that I am grieving. She's still with us, maybe, but for how long and under what conditions? I grieve her life, the nuturing, the kindness, the love, and the respect that she did not get. Am I grieving for myself, too?

Pammie is my soul sister for sure and I am just so fucking sad. No. I am devastated, and felled.

Photo by Peter A.Samarin. All rights. reserved.

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