My Tell-All Interview Part Two

\"RickAJ: Hi again.

Rick: Hi man. Thanks for coming back.

My pleasure. So, I looked over your post and realized I didn’t make a few points that I had decided I wanted to make when you asked me to do this.

OK.

First is, despite what…despite the times I was appalled at some of your decisions that you made in Prague while homeless, and very concerned, at the time, I still respected your right to make those decisions, and what’s more appreciate that you wrote about it with such honesty.

Thanks.

And, more than that, I respect the fact that you didn’t want to be saved.

Right.

I had this idea that I would come and bring you toiletries and salvation [laughs] and talk to you about your drinking. But you weren’t interested. You blew me off.

I didn’t blow you off. There’s still a lingering misunderstanding about what happened there.

OK, OK. But the point I wanted to make was: It was more than a bit arrogant of me to think that I should do anything along those lines, other than support you when I could and read what you were writing. I came to understand that there are so many different human experiences, and yours were unique as was your ability to write about them so compellingly, that it became more important for me to become your advocate in terms of your writing. It’s a special perspective, one I’d never read before, and worth supporting, I think.

Thanks. That means a lot to me actually and I’m glad you said that.

You didn’t want to be saved.

No. I wanted to experience what I wanted to experience, and if that meant being homeless and putting myself in dangerous situations and getting robbed, then so be it. And if I couldn’t make my way in the world on my own terms, I was OK with being down ‘n’ out and destitute. It was better than being bored. I don’t know how people do the wage-slave thing or paying taxes to a country that bombs brown people. I wanted no part of any of that. I’ve paid a price for those ideas but most of the time it’s been worth it. Until I got cancer! [laughs]

I know! My partner and I were shocked to find that out, Rick. We were so sorry.

I appreciate that. It wasn’t really a shock to me.

I read that. You knew.

Yes. Well, not knew, but I deliberately chose to do nothing about serious symptoms, like bleeding from my ass! [laughs]

Oh no! What were you thinking?

Well, it’s complicated. But it just boils down to being deeply unhappy and now that we’re having this conversation and bringing up Prague and Marek and Pavel and all that stuff, I realize that I was just never happy since leaving Prague. And happiness is a powerful motivator. I had been unhappy in Chicago for years —despair really — and so that’s why I moved to Prague and in order to get there the second time I did some things that were not…uh, very nice.

Like what?

Well, I’m still not going to talk about that stuff. At least not unless someone’s paying me to tell it. [laughs] I considered revealing ALL this week, but the whole death-bed confessional thing…

I don’t like the sound of that.

Yeah, well, tough. [laughs] Sorry. No, it would be such a cliché, and it’s not all that, uh, interesting anyway. But I do want to say since there has been so much rumor-mongering and trolling by anonymous parties…

And who do you think that was?

I have my suspicions. You remember Radovan?

Yes, I met Radovan. You could say we were intimate.

[laughs] Literally thousands of men have been as well. Well, I know he resents me for throwing him out of my apartment after he squeezed the titty of a straight girlfriend of mine…squeezed and bruised it. Jesus.

He was a troubled person.

He was and we were very good friends for a long time, but he really got so bad, and so nutty in his behavior, it was too much even for me.

So you suspect him?

Yeah, his English is good, if not perfect, and some of the things this troll said on Facebook sounded like Radovan. But it could have been someone else who stole from me and then I wrote about it. I won’t go into that since he has consistently trolled me for years in a passive/aggressive way and has finally stopped. Another person who was obsessed with me on some level. I don’t want to get him going again. Not that it matters at this point.

Rick…

Anyway, I never stole from my friends. Whatever else I’ve done, I’ve never done that. And that was always the thing that made me so angry about some of the Prague boys, stealing from people who helped them and stealing from their friends. It’s so very stupid.

It is, but that’s what addicts do.

Yes, and I have had the opportunity to steal from a lot of people and haven’t. That’s such a strange thing to be bragging about! [laughs] That faggot asshole Conyers Thompson…I knew where he literally had at least one-hundred thousand dollars stashed and…

In cash?

In cash.

Wow.

Yeah, and…god knows what that was all about…

He’s the one who kicked you out and wouldn’t give your stuff back?

Yeah, he’s the one.

You hate him.

I’ve never hated anyone, but yeah I hate that puto. Anyway, um, now of course I regret not stealing from him, but I didn’t. I could have taken thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment…

Why didn’t you steal from him?

Well, I was enjoying my work at the time and he had been kind and generous with me. I was trying to live a normal life. Plus I know very well what’s it’s like to be betrayed and don’t like the idea of making someone else feel that way because of me. And then the cancer came and it was all moot anyway.

Would you do anything differently?

I ask myself that all the time, and I always go back to the point when I first suspected I had cancer.

When was that?

Just a few weeks before I was to leave for Prague the first time, so that would be 2002… I guess? I suck at dates. I remember I was sitting in front of my computer and a kind of weird flash whooshed through my body, like a heat flush, from my asscrack to my head, like a premonition of some sort and I just knew then that I had colon cancer.

Wow.

I know. And since you’ve read me you know I’m not spiritual or theistic. I’m a materialist. But that feeling was real and so was the suspicion which turned out to be true. Of course, many more suspicions turn out not to be true…

Right.

But anyway, I panicked and thought, there is no way this is going to stop me from moving to Prague, so I got an appointment at the free clinic. Well, my ex-boyfriend got me an appointment because I was afraid of using the phone.

What’s that about?

I don’t know. It’s just one of my many phobias.

So, uh… I got an appointment at a free gay clinic, Howard Brown in Chicago and a doctor stuck his fingers up my ass…actually, a scared intern stuck his fingers up my ass…and felt around and looked around and there was nothing.

So nothing visible.

No, but I know now that the tumor was sitting right outside the anal canal so if he had peeeeeked over the edge he might have seen something.

And then what would you have done?

I don’t know. I might never have gone to Prague. I had no health insurance anymore so I would have had to use Cook County, and they would have clipped off the polyp because at that point it was probably small and then there would have been chemo and stuff and who knows? I might never have gone to Prague and my life would have been very very different. But I had to get the fuck out of Chicago before I killed myself or someone else.

But you ended up almost killing yourself anyway, and now you’re thinking about it again.

Yes, but in the years in between I had some glorious moments and wrote about them.

To be continued.

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Bettiegee
8 years ago

Damn Rick. 2002? Wow. And I know I have said this before, but yeah, still super annoyed that you didn’t come by for lunch with me before you left FOREVAR! You wouldn’t have had to say you were leaving… dork.

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