My wife lives condemned to a wheelchair. Something recent, an unexpected icing on the cake to her experience down here on Planet Earth among us. Aggressive peripheral neuropathy in her legs, due to a severe case of diabetes, is keeping her there, very much against her will. Her illness, creeping lately up to her left elbow/hand/tip-of-her-fingers, presents itself as a threatening menace that is going to push her to an early grave rather soon. Like a hindu wife obsessed with old fashion values, every now and then, I catch myself planning the aftermath of her death: –If you die before me, I swear I will follow you right after. With honors proper of a mandatary, I will bury you, and just a few hours later, I’ll be next to you, alive inside the cage. The truth is, I have no interest in life without you.
Uncomfortable, my wife disregards my sempiternal monologue with a twist of a hand, and like a teacher in front of an unruly class, asks me to stop saying silly things out loud. Out of frustration, quite often, we quarrel like cats and dogs. She’s convinced I’m not prepared to take care of her. Ill intended, she calls me imbecile, puppet, old fart and I prefer not to tell you the insults I send her way. In front of our children, we seem to misbehave the most. Between the two of us, the filthy waterfall has arrived to a certain level of tranquility. We refer to it as the calm that resides inside the eye of a tiger. Forty years married, raising two stubborn kids, eating and working at the same table… If someone asks me for my telephone number, the only one that comes to mind is hers. So, I facilitate it. What the hell, she knows better than I if we have to change phone companies or if a lovely bank is coming up with something fishy when it comes down to our non-existent retirement plan. Self-employed, no insurance, we’re running out of money. Sold everything we had. The boys, two adults with errant lives of their own, are talking about sending mother to one of those homes set-up for people in her situation. Impaired is not the correct term these days. But forget about it. We don’t have a fortune and these two boys of ours, thirty-five and thirty, are mostly all about talk-talk-talk. Besides, call me an imbecile, label me old fart, my wife belongs with me. I’m one of those rare individuals who every time life is written, he reads wife. I swear to you, soon we’ll both drive down the cliff, together, in our customized car for the physically challenged. Yes, I’m one of those guys who delivers what he promises, one of those daredevil bikers who lost his two legs when he was twenty nine, rushing to the hospital where the wife was delivering their second child.