It is nearly 1.30 in the afternoon and I haven’t yet rung Anthony. This is very unusual.
Usually, I ring him multiple times per day beginning with the morning phonecalls. When I say multiple times, I mean multiple attempts. The big, easy-to-use mobile we got Ants goes to message bank after exactly 13 rings, so my system is to let it ring 12 times, hang up, and do the same thing a couple more times. I usually get him on the third try.
But, even when he answers the phone, he often can’t hear me because he is forgetting how to hold the phone to his ear, so I have to yell my side of the conversation. And sometimes, he starts pressing numbers on his phone and unintentionally cuts me off, so I have to begin the whole ritual again. I often have to ring the nurses to help Anthony answer his own phone.
I do this phonecall thing in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening regardless of whether I am visiting him or not (an average of every second to third day now).
When it works, our morning conversations are light-hearted (Ants is lucid), our afternoon conversations are mournfully hopeful (he is sad and wants to come home), and our evening conversatioms are bizarre (he is confused).
It is nearly 1.30 in the afternoon and I haven’t yet rung Anthony. I will wait, with my hand poised near the phone, with his number carved into my brain, with my heart splintering, until 4pm.
Because otherwise I will go stark, raving mad.
This is a very heavy love.