Scene 1 – The 2 a.m. Call
Totsy: Are you sure you’re Wayne?
Wayne: Yes, this is me.
Totsy: You don’t sound like Wayne. Why you sound thataway?
Wayne: What way? Oh, it’s just because I’ve been hollering. They’ve been driving me crazy.
Totsy: Who are they?
Wayne: Oh, I’ve been in this hospital. (He talks away from the mouthpiece to a passing nurse) But I’m running things around here now, aren’t I?
Totsy: What’s your room number?
Wayne: I’ll be out of here soon and they keep moving me. You wouldn’t be able to keep up.
(We talk more nonsense and I know it’s him. My mind rambles and sleep don’t find me when my head hits the pillow again. I think real hard about Wayne. Does hollering real hard make a man sound like a woman?)
Scene 2 – At the Apartment
Wayne: You’re one nosy ass, finding me on the internet. I mean, damn!
Totsy: (I think, he’s talking shit but he’s glad I found him since he’d run his mama to the ground taking care of his stuff) Come on and let’s get this taken care of and stop running that mouth.
(Wayne looks lost once we get inside. Don’t know where to start picking up the scatterings of what was left in his apartment. I go in the kitchen.)
Totsy: Wayne, there really is such a thing as Elbow Grease?! (I hold the generic-looking jar up and smile wide, like I’m a commercial on the TV set).
Wayne: Give me that, Totsy. (He snatches the jar in a friendly kinda way, looking me dead in my smiling eyes). You’re too innocent to know anything about that.
(Wayne leaves me downstairs. I find a pink floral greeting card to Wayne and somebody signed it, Love Pedro).
Scene 3: The Psychologist’s Office
(It’s a nice, clean place and I smile at the two patients I walk past ’cause they look like they could use one. We get to the office and wait for the doctor.)
Totsy: (Feeling real strange after seeing those folks. Just quiet. Real quiet and trying to erase the thoughts popping up)
(The doctor enters)
Doctor: You can sit here while I speak with Wayne now but I’ll later have to speak to him alone.
Wayne: Yes, she can stay for now. I want her here.
(I don’t know much about what they’re saying and then Doctor turns to me)
Doctor: Have you noticed anything like mouth sores? That’s usually typical with patients with HIV.
Totsy: (Folks start talking in my head. What the…How the hell was I supposed to know that? But you saw those people out there. Remember the one with the walker? Why’s he telling me about mouth sores? Look at Wayne, honey. Don’t he look a little bit like those folk in the hallway? Why you acting like you don’t know this man’s sick? Just ’cause you don’t wanna think it’s so, ain’t gonna make it not so.)
(The doctor says something, then leaves the office. I look at Wayne, crying on the inside and speechless. He’s too beautiful to die.)
Wayne: Don’t cry for me, Totsy. I’ve lived a good and full life. (He’s 36)
Epilogue: As much as I can remember, this is exactly how it went down. Not quite sure whatever happened with Wayne. He kinda entered and vanished out of my life as he saw fit. Been five years since we last spoke. He was downright smart, funny and like a big brother to me when we did hang out and about. I wish him peace wherever he may be.
This is my submission for Create Art Every Day.