MY EX WANTS ME TO KILL HER
I NEVER COULD SAY NO TO HER
Love Means Never Having To Say "I'm Dying"
Actually, this was years ago. I was in Twenty-Nine Palms, California, at the MCAGCC, where I'd gone to forget about Cybele, I'll call her. She'd gone back to Montmartre, staying at the same hotel where we'd spent our belated honeymoon. Even after the divorce, we stayed in touch, unable to quit picking at the scabs.
Cybele was living on the cheap in Europe. I was blowing up rocks and sand in the high desert. I sent her cigarettes from the Exchange, four cartons at a time, saving her a fortune on US butts at French prices. She complained about having to pay the French Post Office some small fee for the packages, which she'd urgently requested. That was Cybele. Kvetch, kvetch.
She got herself a job at some bistro that catered to American students. She started having trouble waiting tables. Her arm or her leg would go numb. She'd lose her balance. She would trip and fall, for no reason. She couldn't write, at times, because of tremours or lack of control. Her vision was blurred, sometimes. The doctors thought it might be a brain tumour. She went home to Maman.
I offered to bring Cybele to California, for treatment. The Marine Corps didn't know we were divorced, because they had never known we were married. I didn't think it was any of their business, and I didn't have any of the paperwork on the marriage or the divorce, so I just didn't mention any of it.
They were pissed about that. They don't like secrets, except their own, which they love. But I was entitled to medical coverage for all dependents. It just wasn't worth a damn, as I was later to find out. Still, it was all I had to offer Cybele.
Cybele decided to stay in Louisiana. She got the better treatment there, in the best hospital in New Orleans. Cybele somehow got coverage from her mother's insurance company, from her teaching job. Don't know how they fiddled that, but they did. Cybele then began a long, painful and exhausting series of tests.
Spinal taps, radioactive dyes, blood work, lots of blood. No answers, just more questions, and worsening symptoms. Aneurysm? Embollism? We learned some new words. Then, they thought it was a brain tumour. A small one, buried deep. They couldn't find one on the MRIs, but they treated for it anyway. Unpleasant.
After months of this, with no positive results, they changed their minds. It was multiple sclerosis. MS is a progressive neurological disease causing destruction of the myelin sheath that serves as a kind of insulation for your nervous system: Like the rubber or plastic on electrical wiring. MS is caused by a virus that attacks that insulation, making it difficult for signals to get through to your body, or even within your brain, eventually.
Multiple sclerosis is related to herpes, and, like herpes, can remain dormant in the body for many years. What causes it, what awakens it, what brings on attacks is unknown, or was back then. It's debilitating, incurable, and fatal. It takes a long time to kill you. There was no effective treatment for it. You just slowly fell apart, and then died, with great difficulty, pain, and humiliation, as you lost control over your own body.
Cybele asked me to kill her, if it came to that. To be honest, I wasn't all that anxious to kill her, much as I hated her, sometimes, for the mess she'd made out of my life, my head, my heart. I still loved her, too. But I said I would, because I would have wanted someone to do the same for me, under those circumstances. Besides, who wouldn't want to kill their Ex?
Cybele gave up on the treatments, at that point. She said they were worse than the disease. Anyway, there was no real treatment for MS, at the time. They're still futsing around with treatments, but there's no known cure, yet. Mouseketeer Annette Funicello is keeping her fingers crossed, when she can. She should have tried Cybele's solution. Fuck Disney.
Cybele started smoking pot. She'd heard it would help. It did. She doesn't have symptoms, anyway. Of course, marijuana is illegal, for some reason. Guess the drug companies figure they'd have a hard time making billions on something anybody could grow for himself. Or herself. Or maybe it just wasn't MS, to begin with.
Cybele was OK. She got her doctorate, after that. Comparative Lit. Reading. A PhD in reading. She had been brilliant in French, music, art. But she got her advanced degree in the easiest subject out there, short of Art History, or Communications. Her thesis? "The Gendering of Humour."
That was the last straw, for me. What I'd always loved about her was her unpretentious, sparkling wit, her irrepressible, irreverent sense of irony, her unerring instinct for skewering the absurd. "The Gendering of Humour"? And she was SERIOUS! I should have put her out of her misery, when I had the chance.
Ha-hah. Just a little male humour, there.
"FDA approves drug for multiple sclerosis"
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