Monday, August 21, 2006


The best way for me to describe my weekend is strange, and a bit uncomfortable I guess. My best friend from high school, Mike came into town on Friday afternoon and drove down and picked me up at the College Park metro station after work. His little sister (the cute little one right in the center-left with the white cowboy hat) was in a show at the new Toby's Dinner Theater in Baltimore and we headed up to see her perform. The show was a lot of fun and we somehow got the best seats in the house so that was nice. His sister had a pretty minor role but the other actors were very good and I enjoyed the show quite a bit.

After that we drove downtown to our friend Ryan's new place for a couple of drinks before we headed out to Federal Hill to meet a few other people. The Night was fun although the night life atmosphere seems completely different in Baltimore then here in DC, it felt like there was more pushing and that every time you turned around someone wanted to get into something. Whatever, it was mostly an uneventful evening and afterwards Mike and I headed went back to his folks place in Columbia.

The next day I woke up early (11am or so) and went upstairs to say hello to his folks. His mother made some coffee and gave me a cup and sat and talked to his Dad for a while. Now you have to understand that half of my high school career was spent at Mike's house and many hours with his parents and they basically became my second set of parents. Mike's father bought us beer when we were juniors and then sat and smoked cigars and BS'd with us on the patio while we drank them type parents. Anyway, after talking to him for about twenty minutes I broach the topic of his health; Mike's father always seemed to have some new sinus infection or hip replacement problem that he was dealing with and Mike had mentioned that he had some disease called the Churg-Strauss Disease. In Mike's description of it I found no worry or issues, just another "infection" type deal for him to pull through. As I talked to his father though a whole different scenario emerged.

This disease causes serious issues with many of the bodies organs and causes blood cells to attack other blood cells causing all kinds of issues, the most prominent being asthma like symptoms and even heart failure. His father then proceeded to tell me that the majority of people with the disease don't live more then 5 years after they fist contract it.

Holy shit! That was a Hiroshima sized bomb in my eyes... I mean WTF? 5 year life expectancy for my friends (and my substitute) father?

I am lost for words at this point but Mr. A being the tough guy he is shrugs it off and says something to the effect of, he's tough and he'll just have to fight on through it. He is, and he will fight... hard. I know this and I take it for what he says, but mostly I'm just too afraid to say much else, I mean how do you face that? And even more, how do you talk about something like that with that much strength and that little worry showing through. Plus when Mike talked about it it was just another thing his father had. I just don't think I could take it like that.

Mike and I later head down to DC for dinner and to do some bar hopping and meet up with our buddy Jimmy and his girlfriend and grabbed some drinks. The night is going well up until around 2am when somehow the whole thing comes up and while Mike stands there unfazed I lose it a bit and begin to tear up. How can he do it, I can't even handle it and it's not even my own father. I respect him for his strength and I just hope by losing it a little bit I didn't cause him any more grief then he already has been feeling.

Hopefully I didn't cause any damage. We decided to call it a night shortly after that and I packed the three of them into a cab for College park then went home... and lost it. I couldn't hold up for the life of me, Pat tried to comfort me, Kemi lent a hand and I cried, and cried and then cried some more.

I went to my room, closed my door, threw everything off my bed and had a good old heart to heart (aka cuss out session) with God then finally gave up and succumbed to a much needed pass out. I didn't move from the couch all day Sunday and I took a sick day Monday. I need my father no matter how little I may see him; he is the pillar of my existence and and the most influential person in my life. I love you guys as my family. I will always try to be strong for you Mike and your family, I know you won't read this but if you ever need anything from me, always know I am here for you all.

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