About 18 months ago, I was contacted by my ex Alex from back in the early to mid 00’s. He and I hadn’t talked in a few years, since we had ‘one last fling’ back in 2015 on Christmas Eve. We made love, made promises to one another (which turned out to be empty) and he gave me a red Keurig coffeemaker that his ex gave to him (which I still use in my office at work to this day.) Alex told me he caught Covid at work. He was a manager of a Fiesta food store in Dallas, Texas, and his right wing manager made him go into work for about 60 hours per week, sometimes without a mask and this was in the early days of the pandemic, too. Alex told me he lost his brother to Covid only a month before, and this is after he lost his mom (who was his BFF) to cancer a couple of years prior, and a relationship ended he was in for over a decade. I felt so bad to hear Alex had caught Covid, specifically since he has pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and cancer seemed to run wild in his family. He also lost a sister shortly after he and I stopped talking in 2016. I was just at a loss for words to hear his bad news, and I told him I would pray for him. “Don’t worry about me, I’m strong, you remember.” Those were the last words I heard him say for a long long time.
Life happened… the pandemic got worse. I began working from home in March 2020 and suddenly one day in October, Alex called me from his hospital bed to share some bad news. “I know you’re busy and stuff, so I don’t blame you for not contacting me, especially how things ended years ago, but… I wanted to let you know, I’ve got bone and blood cancer, and still have Covid, and I have about 3 weeks to live.”
I was devastated. You can go back to last year and read what I went through, but it wasn’t pretty. This news was devastating… 3 weeks to live??? I had always thought of Alex as my ‘marriage backup plan’ and although we talked about it seriously in 2015 and before that in 2004, it never happened. He met someone, I met someone, we grew distant, and I moved in 2011 to L.A., then to Albuquerque in 2012. However, I go home to Texas alot on holidays and I did get to see Alex over the years here and there for a quick cuddle or a quick drink together at some sleazy gay bar or three.
Alex and I had talked at length 20 years prior about how we wanted to get married one day (‘if only the stars were aligned’) and we decided to part ways since I saw him slowly becoming an alcoholic while we dated. It was killing me, specifically as I had been clean myself since 1999, just a few years prior to us dating. I met Alex at a bar and so I should have assumed he would remain there for many years after. Leopards don’t change their spots sometimes, and we can’t make them change their spots, either. They have to want to. Anyway, Alex eventaully got (mostly) clean over the years. One thing I will always cherish tho is the private, special times we shared, dancing around to his favorite (Mariah Carey) and mine (whatever I was obsessed with at the time.)
Anyhow, back to the story… Alex told me had 3 weeks to live, and I knew he was a Christmas fanatic (he would set up his Christmas tree as early as August! So insane. And he would often have 2-3 around his apartment, and before that, and he and his Mother’s house that they shared before she passed.) Alex’s niece Daisy contacted me and told me that Alex wasn’t doing very well suddenly and might go sooner than 3 weeks, so she decided to plan a Zoom Christmas party, about a week before Thanksgiving, when Alex was slated to pass. Of course, I jumped at the chance, and joined the Zoom call in the middle of November last year to help Alex celebrate his favorite holiday, one last time. It was so sad to see Alex sitting there, his eyes sunken in and having lost over 100 pounds (he was previously a ‘big guy’ like myself so it was scary to see.) We were losing our Alex… our special angel who would walk into a room and fill it with joy, and would always find the one fun person in the room and his energy was electric. I was sad to see that fading away, and our potential make-believe future together just gone with the wind. Alex told me in messaging a few days before his party: “If only we had a vaccine… if only… I would have gladly taken it first.”
Alex passed away a few days after that, a few days before Thanksgiving 2020. I was heartbroken, but glad to hear he passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and a few close friends where he lived.
A year later… I can honestly say that I still think about Alex quite a bit. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and wonder what could have been, what should have been, what may have been, and the list goes on. I know Alex is in a special place in God’s hands now and he is sharing his joy with heaven as much as they will allow it.
Alex… I miss you, buddy. You’ll always be close to my heart and even a year after you’re gone, I’m still looking forward to coming over, having sloppy crazy fun sex, exchanging gifts and drinking two bottles of wine. I miss you. And I miss your crazy Christmas trees being up in August or September. (“Why not? It’s never too early to shed some happiness!”)
And he was so right about that.
I love you, A. Always and forever,