Posted by: facetothewind | May 27, 2001

Rose in My Heart – Thorn in My Side: the chronology of Patrick

Rose in my Heart, Thorn in my Side – Or how I spent 10 years of Loving the brown-eyed boy who talks to bugs and quacks like a duck in the bathtub.

1991 Year 1. I sat up out of my nap in the sand to meet him for the first time. Something told me that something big was about to happen and to wake up. So, I watched by the big rock for him and then he appeared. Shoulder length black hair. Gold-rimmed glasses only a nerd would wear. Soft skin, muscular shoulders and big breasts. He sits down next to me and we begin with a kiss.

We had our first dinner at The Real Good Karma. We shared a piece of apple pie and a bottle of champagne at my house that night. The sex is great and he spends the night sleeping in my arms. It’s day one and I’m in love. But he snores, really bad.

At Christmas while I’m away, his father dies of AIDS. Patrick can’t cry.

1992 Year 2. We’re living together in Potrero Hill. Loving it. Hating it. I love to watch him while he sleeps.

That is until the snoring starts. He never would admit that he snored. I would call our own voice mail and hold the phone to his mouth at 3 in the morning so he could hear it. In the morning I’d say, “Patrick, there’s a message for you.” He’d listen his snoring on the voicemail and hit #3 to delete it without comment. I got used to his snoring like people get used to living next to a freeway. It’s familiar. It’s home.

I told him that I love him. He won’t tell me. I want to hear those words. At bedtime when I put my earplugs in, I say to him, “OK, now’s a good time to tell me that you love me, because I won’t be able to hear.”

We spent our honeymoon in a rental car driving up the coast of Northern California. “Patrick, we both have Nikons. Should we just bring one set of lenses and share them. Sure.” Hours later, “I don’t want you using my wide angle lens.” I went silent at Fort Ross. I had nothing left to say. He made dinner in silence. Smoked a hand-rolled cigarette and we slept in the tent. I dreamed wild animals were eating our food.

1993 Year 3. We’re living in the Haight now. He has told me that he loves me. I knew it.

On Saturday nights we go to Club Fiend on Haight Street. Patrick loves the chaos of this gay punk bar. I’m intrigued and a little afraid. But I want to fit in. It’s so noisy and smoky. I put in my earplugs and head into the mosh pit, a room with shirtless, sweaty men moving like kelp in the ocean. Someone bonks me and my glasses get bent.

Patrick and I stop having sex altogether. I’m his stern mother. He’s my neglectful father. Too incestuous in bed. He moves to the living room and I keep the bedroom. He puts up the New York Times in front of his face when I want to process. We make dinners together. We fight at dinner, but only when we have guests. Ira came to dinner and we fought. Patrick stormed out, again. Ira put a gun to his head years later and pulled the trigger. The crack dealer downstairs beats her boy. She gets evicted. The boy’s tricycle is in the dumpster.

My heart is wrenching.

1994 Year 4. I’m 30 now and well into my drug experimentation stage – a late bloomer. Patrick moved out to Noe Valley and left me meditating in a cloud of smoke on the floor in the Haight. He went to travel agent school, I to graphic design school. He hates being a travel agent. I love being a designer.

One day while I was tripping on acid, I visit him at the office where he works. He makes a vacuum cleaner do a little dance to stop me from crying. Another bad trip, he picks me up and carries me on his back at the beach while I’m overdosing on mushrooms. He shows me the field mice under a log and feeds me my dinner. I’m becoming a spiritual man.

1995 Year 5. Patrick starts a gardening business and finds a boyfriend. What a relief.

1996 Year 6. We move in together again with the hope of living in community this time. We fight over the aquarium on move-in day. I want to help him. He wants to brow beat me.

Community living isn’t what I hoped it would be. Change channels. I move to the country without even saying goodbye to Patrick. He gets the city apartment, I get out.

Thanksgiving. Patrick arrives in the country with hepatitis, his eyes glowing yellow.

I hate living in the country.

1997 Year 7. My best friend is dying. Not Patrick. So I move back to San Francisco to take care of him. This is life’s graduate school for me.

Patrick is too busy for me. I hardly see him. He’s having a great career as a gardner, making lots of money and losing his life’s savings in bad investments.

I move to Santa Cruz. I’m lost in grief.

1998 Year 8. Where is Patrick? Working and sleeping. Depressed in his spare time. I scream at Patrick in the car on the way to the Billy Club. He doesn’t want to drive and I have a hemorrhoid. He picked a bad time to stall the car at an intersection. I threaten to take him to the bus station. He quiets down and is softer with me. I’m in love again.

1999 Year 9. Patrick comes to the Billy Club and stays in his tent listening to AM radio Ukiah. I sit outside his tent in tears – looking in and feeling the distance.

He finds out that he’s hypo-thyroid. We’re so relieved. We thought we were losing him. Thus begins the wild ride of thyroid replacement drugs. Manic, depressed, manic, depressed. I’m trying to be patient with him.

I hold on long enough for his drugs to kick in and then I need a break. I don’t talk to him for 6 months.

2000 Year 10

One of the rose bushes Patrick bought me produced a HUGE red rose. Later I saw ice coming from the tree tops on a sunny day in themountains over Carmel. I decided my heart was melting again and would call Patrick. We meet at the beach and re-acquaint ourselves.

2001 Year 11

We go to Costa Rica together and have the best vacation ever. No fights, no drama. I buy a VW van for us to travel with. On our maiden voyage, Patrick gets drunk and abusive and I leave him in Chico to take the bus home. He moves to the UCSC farm and won’t talk to me. He thinks I don’t love him anymore. He’s wrong.

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