Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23, 2009


Strong doesn’t mean

normal emotional state.

Note to self:
Dear Kim, you are still not capable of operating in a normal emotional state. Fatigue, forgetfullness and, in general, confusion are still part of the package.
Please take note.
Thank you.
The Self That Is Trying to Emotional Survive This!

According to a good friend, this is the stuff artists are born from.


Why does this have to be so fundamentally tragic?


Whenever someone visits Art, I get a phone call afterwards.

“How’s Art doing?” they ask.

Which eventually leads to:

“What do the doctors say?”

And my response is always sadness and then, way too many words.


“Honey” I said and then stopped. I couldn’t get the words out. I was crying so hard that my tears were overflowing the rims of my eyes.

“If you want to... let go. If you need to...go, you can…. You….you just seem….so the fight is…too...."

"I want you to stay” comes in a quick rush

a measured

“but if you don’t want to….stay, if this ...if the fight…is….feels too hard, it’s ok. You can go.”

I can’t see him. I wipe my shirted arm across my face and he comes into focus until I drop my eyes, suddenly ashamed and afraid of what I said.

He’s crying.

“Ya know…” now he can’t talk. And I think this would make a beautiful scene in a movie only they would have to not include the stuff that runs from your nose with the tears. Or like that long stringy piece of runny snot that gets stuck on your shirt.

Time passes. It has no reference.

He says,

“At first,
I thought
I want to live for the kids.
Then I realized they have their own paths to follow and that my death may be part of that journey.”

“Then I thought
I want to live
to see you shine.
Only I know you’ll shine with or without me.

I remembered
that I wanted to make a real difference in education and I thought well,
that’s not a real good reason to live.”

There is a pause. A space for humility, grace and awe flow from me to him.

And then I think

“FUCK, this was such a stupid conversation!!! Oh God no! Don’t let him say OK! Don’t let him say OK?”

And I shoot up from my sitting position.
I fumble.
I try to swallow.
I sit down.
I grab his hands
I hold those skinny white fingers
on which his wedding ring won’t fit and
I whisper to myself,
“What will I do with his wedding band?”

And he says, haltingly

“I want to live…. for me.

I want to really learn to salsa.
I want to see all of Europe.
I need to get back on my bike.
I need to write that damn screen play!”

And I am laughing and crying and he is laughing and crying.

And out of my mouth comes the dumbest words I’ve spoken in a week.

“Are you sure?”

GOOD GOD….can I please just leave well enough alone!!!!!!


A quick note:
The doctors have not told Art to stop fighting! I don't want anyone to panic.


  1. That man of yours is so fucking wise.


  2. Arthur Nagle, you are my salsa-dancing hero! Viva la salsa!

  3. Marda Todd11:22 AM

    FUCK what the doctors say! They think they know so much when in fact they actually know so little. Art has it right...we all have our own path. It is his fight that he needs to fight for himself. For his path, for his journey....peace, peace, peace my friend!

  4. Kim, it is brilliant that he fights his own fight, because he wants to. What an amazing gift he just gave you. And that conversation, as strenuous as it was, was absolutely efficacious for you both. I honor you for braving it. Let me know if you need me to come by and cook. love, Anna Scott

  5. With tears and laughter I read your posts. I know our time together is, for the most part, in the past. But, Fuck me and what you are going through.

    As I said at least two times before, I Love you and although I don't know Art or your Kids, I love them each equally for you.