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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Five Minute Conversations - MICHAEL'S BAD DAY

Michael isn't a stranger, but a waiter in a restaurant I frequent in NJ. We started chatting a couple of years ago about how he and his partner were finishing their home and how wonderful it was turning out. One day in the summer of 2009 he was upset and told me why. I asked him if he would mind if I wrote it out and this is his story.


Michael couldn’t believe his eyes; everything was gone! He had just opened the front door to his house and his first thought was, “We’ve been robbed!”

When his eyes adjusted, he slowly began to realize that only certain things were gone. “Oh my God did he LEAVE ME?” he said aloud. “After 25 years together??” He, being Michael’s longtime friend and significant other, who will remain nameless since his behavior was too hurtful to even grace him with his proper name.

Michael walked around the house in shock and wonder. “That’s where the DVD player was”, he thought. “That empty space on the bookcase held all the photo albums.” Michael stepped further into the dining room and realized he was going to need a drink to contend with THIS! He knew they’d been having some minor problems, but like every couple, there were always small kinks to be worked through. But this was like getting smacked in the head with a brick! No indication, no notice, no….nothing.

“What am I going to do”, he wondered. “Our entire lives are intertwined. We own this house together.” They had just finished putting the finishing touches on the interior decorating, having invested all of their money the last few years doing landscaping, putting in a koi pond and making the outside beautiful. Just when they were reaching the point that everything would be done and they could relax and enjoy their home together, Nameless flew the coop. He’d heard about this happening to other people, but not to them; not to him. Michael always felt so secure in their relationship. In their circle of gay and straight friends, it was unusual to have such a long term commitment and Michael had always been so proud of their life together.

Walking into the kitchen to add ice to his drink, he saw it. Propped against the counter where the imported Italian restaurant quality Espresso machine used to be, there was a plain white envelope with his name on the front. “Oh, boy, I’m going to need two drinks”, Michael said aloud. Adding more ice to his glass, he walked through the kitchen to the deck carrying the envelope with him.

“Well, that’s not going to work”, Michael thought, “There’s no FUCKING CHAIR to sit on!” All of the deck furniture had disappeared!

Sitting down on the step, Michael opened the envelope and began to read the note. How could such a terrible message come in such a plain envelope? “Dear Michael”, it began. “I’m so sorry to do this but I met someone and I’ve fallen in love and I have to be with her. I’ll call you in a few days so we can discuss how to deal with selling the house and arranging to pick up the rest of my belongings. Nameless.”

Her? As in a female? HER?? “This must be a joke”, thought Michael. “This just can’t be happening.” But it was happening and Michael realized he was going to have a lot to face in the very near future, like selling the house, finding a new place he could afford on his own, getting his own life back. But for now, well, like Scarlett O’Hara, “I’m not going to think about that today, I’ll think about that tomorrow”, thought Michael as he headed back to the kitchen for that second drink.

Febrary 2010 postscript: I saw Michael the other day and he wanted me to know that Nameless was on his THIRD new girlfriend. Michael is happily engaged in a new relationship and living in his new condo.

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