I walked into a bar and saw a bartender I know. Now he’s a bartender and not a friend. But we know each other by name. I’ve essentially quit drinking since this heart diagnosis, so I haven’t seen him in a good year. We shook hands and he lowered his voice and said, “How are you?” And I replied I was fine. And he moved closer and said, “No. How are you?” And then I knew my close buddy (who I don’t hear from anymore since I got sick. He didn’t even visit me in the hospital. Now there’s a fuck-you friendship) had told the bartender about my health. And frankly I felt angry.
No one has the right to my intimacy without my permission. I decide who knows about me and my life. I’m a writer. I’m entitled to tell my tales.
But you know what? You don’t call me, visit me, assist me, or ask how I am – we aren’t friends. And I’ll grab my ankles and fuck myself before someone uses me as an entertaining story. My life is not gossip.
There’s one really great aspect of facing death: I so easily and effortlessly remove people from my waning life who make my struggles about them. They can make their own film because they’re not starring in mine. Amen.
(Photo courtesy of oxforddictionaries.com)