The man lies on the bed, quietly weeping, feigning sleep. The hallucinations have returned; they seem to be becoming worse. How many times more will this happen? Will the disease finally take his friend away? (When people spoke of his friend, they always capitalized the "F" as though it were his name. Friend.) He wonders about this man weeping as though it is not himself, as though he watches from afar. Why does the man weep? Is he so selfish? Does he want his friend to be well because it is easier? Does he dread the difficult time he is facing: guiding, comforting, lying, suppressing, neglecting himself? Is he simply tired and alone, abandoned, no help forthcoming, drowning?
Here is his friend lying on the bed beside him, playing a childish game; hiding behind the pillow, peeking out and diving back into the pillow as though frightened. Disarmed, he would believe anything his friend tells him at this moment.
The disease does not affect his feelings towards his friend. They are more than friends, already, really. Though each still hides little parts of themselves that they consider too embarrassing or disgusting to be shared, they have already shared more than enough, each one bleeding into the other so that they have become inextricably entwined. When one dies, so will the other.
Written by I