Tony and I were supposed to see each other on Wednesday night. He’d been working all week and it felt like we’d barely spoken (which wasn’t technically true but I’m feeling more disconnected from him than usual – it could very well all be in my head).
I was sitting at my home computer working late when my phone rang. It was Tony. “Ann”, he said, “I’ve just blacked out on set. They called an ambulance and I’m going to the hospital.”
“What?? Oh my god! Are you okay now? Where are they taking you?”
I am aware that those were unanswerable questions.
“I don’t know, Ann.”
My crisis management self kicked in and I calmed down – slightly.
“Okay, do you need me to come get your car? Please let me know which hospital they take you to. I will come.”
“No don’t worry about the car I have to work here tomorrow anyway. I will let you know. You don’t need to come to the hospital, I’m fine. They called Mary when I passed out – she’s my emergency contact.”
“Ah, of course. Yes I guess it would be awkward if we were both at the hospital”.
He had to go – the ambulance was arriving, so we signed off.
He sounded scared, and stressed, and not himself. That’s completely normal in the situation. I felt helpless to do anything. I was worried and threw myself back into my work.
Three things occurred to me over the following hours.
First was I was glad and honored he called me. I wasn’t surprised or miffed he called his ex – I would have called my ex in the same situation…although maybe not as my first call. My ex is no longer my emergency contact; it’s my Mother. Which in hindsight may not be a good choice since she’s not attached to her phone, but that’s irrelevant to this story.
Second was frustration over not being able to show up at the hospital just in case Mary had also decided to come. Fucking ridiculous, as I’m the only human he talks to almost every single day. I wasn’t surprised by this realization, but it was unwelcome reminder when I’ve otherwise managed to avoid them.
Third was maybe the worst. If something happened to him, if he hadn’t called me, if it was serious… NOBODY WOULD KNOW TO TELL ME. His two best friends know I exist, but who knows if they know we are still in touch. I would be that unknown elegant woman in black sunglasses and a black dress at the back of the church for the funeral. Assuming I was even able to find out, that is.
Fucking depressing. Probably didn’t help that I’d just finalized my new will.
He called me once he arrived at the hospital. He sounded horrible. All I wanted to do was go be there for him. He told me he wouldn’t be good company. Twit. I told him it wasn’t about him being good company.
I hated the thought of anyone I cared about alone in a hospital. I debated just going but was worried he would actually be angry. I didn’t really care at that point if Mary was there – I’d figure it out.
I chose not to go. He was in touch by phone and text a couple more times. They kept him for observation for several hours and despite my offers, he took a taxi back to his car and drove home. He texted me when he left, but didn’t tell me that he made it home okay. Thankfully he responded to my inquiry that night, and told me he was still alive the next morning.
The doctors don’t know what’s wrong, and he’s going for more tests. While I’m sure everything will turn out okay (I hope), this whole thing has been a reminder. Not of my role in Tony’s life – I’ve been clear on that for a long time.
It’s been a reminder that I’d better make the most of every day, because ultimately, I never know when things will change for me or those I care about. I’m going to Mom the heck out of Liam this week.
Oh, and I FINALLY cleaned up my office.