The One Guy Who Did More For Me Than Anyone Else ln My Life
His name is Lonnie and though I’ve known him less than a few years, he was the one person above all others, including my ex-partner of 46 years and my fair weather friends, who came through when I needed someone the most.
I met Lonnie, a nurse practitioner who travels across the U.S. monitoring drug trials for the phamas, through a mutual friend Billy Splenda. We hit it off instantly. Two nerds who have our shit together sexually with a twisted, sarcastic view on life. But Lonnie has also got caregiver in his DNA, and when he heard I was having shoulder surgery he instantly offered to re-arrange his work schedule so he would be free to stay with me, as he put it, “to drug you up so much I’ll pimp your ass out and you won’t even know it.” (Still waiting, Lonnie, still waiting.)
Seriously, he took me the morning of my surgery and stayed with me through Preop where, while everyone else was shitting bricks on what was going to happen to them next, we laughed and joked right to the moment they wheeled me into the OR.
And we had a lot to laugh about, like the swishy nurse assistant who remembered me from my back surgery two years before and shaved my left shoulder and upper chest area with a leering glimmer in his eyes (“I forgot how hairy you are..” ). If I ever entertained going for transgender surgery they’d have to tack on an extra five grand just to laser off all my gorilla fur.
Or when the intake nurse kept asking me about ailments I didn’t have, then realized she was looking for a woman.
In recovery, I woke right up and, they tell me, entertained the staff like a standup comedian while Lonnie waited for me up in my room. If I had been able to get a private room which are at a premium, he would have even arranged to have a recliner brought to my room so he could be there all night just in case.
While I had had grave trepidations about the surgery, everything went like clockwork. But instead of taking me straight home the following day after I was discharged and putting me to bed with a hot tottie (or knocking me out like he promised so he could start pimping our my tight hairy hole), Lonnie swung through Wilton Manors, Lauderdale,’s gay ghetto, where we hit thrift shop row, I bought a six foot bright pink metal flamingo to add to my patio’s collection and we had lunch at a new trendy outdoor Greek restaurant. Later, without even a nap, we hit the Ramrod, our leather bar, shaking our booties on its tiny dance floor to the wee hours of the morning.
So much for convalescence. My surgeon, a cute guy who resembled Houdini, would have flipped out.
We repeated the party circuit Saturday, and Sunday hit Hunters, Lauderdale’s most popular dance bar frequented by gays and str8s alike, where we boogied to its Studio 54 disco tracks all night. Playing my bodyguard, Lonnie made sure people steered clear of my sling – the shoulder variety.
After all, I had just had major surgery 48 hours before.
A bamboo devotee with a virtual rain forest at his home in St. Augustine, Lonnie took me Monday to the largest bamboo nursery in South Florida located in Palm Beach where I bought a half dozen varieties that Lonnie planted around my house, his humble beginnings as a Texas farm boy pretty much in evidence.
While I enjoy living alone, I had so grown so use to Lonnie’s company, entertaining me with his one liners, funny patient/doctor tales and a totally warped sense of humor totally in sync with mine, that I didn’t need my Percocets, and when he finally left that Wednesday I was kinda lost.
Look up the word “friend” in the dictionary and you’ll find Lonnie’s ruggedly handsome face.
Smiling as always.