Last night, I watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, in support of my good friend, AJ. He had a small role in which he played one of the EMT workers when the ambulance blew up. Within the last month, I’ve seen him on major television show and in a T-Mobile commercial. Ever since he came into a rehearsal in which he walked, talked, dressed, and had the same posture as me because his character was from New York, I’ve believed in him.
I’ve known AJ for about ten years. We were in a few college plays together and we clicked. He’s an actor, so he’s a pretty eccentric guy. On the surface, we don’t look like we have much in common; but sometimes we all need friends that make us step outside of our comfort zone. During the summer of 2008, we collaborated to make an album that was silly but pretty damn good in about two weeks. That was the time in which our friendship solidified. Looking back, it seems as if everyone that I have lifelong friendships with in college-and to some extent, in high school-were based around music.
The last time that I saw AJ was five years ago. He was attending graduate school in Connecticut and came down to New York to visit Timile, Cydney, and I. AJ and Timile were good friends, too; but they had their own separate friendship. Ironically, the last time I saw him was in a hospital.
Tuning in to catch my boy onscreen wasn’t an easy thing to do. As I watched the episode, I a lot of thoughts flew through my head. I don’t like to watch television shows about hospitals. One of-if not my favorite-TV show is Scrubs, and I can’t bear to sit through it unless it’s one of my favorite episodes. I watched that show all of the time to fall asleep to. After Timile was diagnosed, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I spent most of 2011 in and out of hospitals dealing with cancer; and these shows don’t being back memories, they conjure those old feelings.
Maybe I do have flashbacks. However, they’re secondary. Meredith reluctantly talked to a therapist because she had to for some reason (I know absolutely nothing about the show other than her husband got hit by a semi last season). From what I saw, I could relate. The therapist told Meredith that she seems as if she’s always angry because of her frank and snide remarks. I have been told that my snarky comebacks can seem as if I walk around with a chip on my shoulder. I do and don’t even realize it. I’m working on it.
Meredith talked about how much she just wanted to be alone; but was too prideful to say that once she had what she coveted, it wasn’t what she needed. I don’t like to be alone. I’m an extrovert who thinks way too much and have spent a good portion of the last five years being in my thoughts. In 2011, Timile couldn’t handle listening to how I was feeling or dealing with things. No matter how much I smiled, grinned, and bore through it, she could just see I was fatigued. I’m still that way. There isn’t much time for processing feelings…I got shit to do and people counting on me. People are often so engulfed in what they have going on that most just take the stoic look in my face as a norm; and that makes me a little-very-jaded.
I’ve sat through many surgeries. I’ve had to fight with doctors and family members. I’ve had to negotiate, converse with other hospitals while making difficult decisions all while holding a newborn, and then be the person who Timile took out her frustration on.
Recently, I have had flashed of thoughts about the past five years. I guess I do around Cydney’s birthday, because it seems as if that’s when the life that I once new ended; and not in the way that most do when they became parents. Shit got real very quickly. I think this is just the time of year in which I process it all. I want to thank my friend AJ for forcing me to watch a show about a hospital. Maybe now, that’s something that I can do more often.