Thursday, July 15, 2010


On the fifth day, when the alarm went off at 4:30 am, we both groaned. Although I had gotten up with him on the first day, I had pretty much been staying in bed since then and mumbling some sort of good-bye in the wee hours of dawn.

He didn't move.

"C'mon, Roc, you'll miss the train." He was no longer at the Torture/Orientation over at Brooklyn College, he was at the actual Academy now, and needed to get a particular train in order to get into Manhattan on time.

He didn't move.

Then, a minute later, I heard him slap off the alarm, roll over, and make like he was going to go back to sleep.

Something wasn't right. I felt my whole body tingle, and there where clanging gongs going off inside my head. I jumped up and snapped on the light.


"I'm not going." He was mumbling into the pillow, face down, not looking at me.

"C'mon, Roc...look, we'd all rather stay in bed, I agree...but you gotta go." I looked at the clock. Precious minutes were ticking away, and the train waits for no man.

"I mean it, Stel. I'm done. I'm out. I'm not going." His voice was choked with emotion.

I had been standing at the foot of the bed, but now I rushed over and ripped the covers off of him. I tugged at his arm, like a child trying to get their Dad out of bed early on a Saturday morning. He resisted. I tapped him, then tried turning him over. No dice. And for some reason, the clock kept right on ticking.

"Roc, come on. You don't want to do this." My own voice was getting high and emotional.


Then I heard what sounded like crying.

I sighed. Deep sigh. Tried turning him over again.

A moment later, he launched himself off the bed and began screaming at me. "You don't get it, do you? I. AM. NOT. GOING!" He was making crazy hand gestures all while tears were streaming down his face. "I am too EFFING OLD. I must have been kidding myself! Do you understand?! What don't you get?!"

I started to cry as he continued to rant, now pacing at the foot of the bed.

"I have an obligation to the business! They can't seem to handle four days with me gone; do you really think they can handle this going forward? I thought I could do it, I can't, it is what it is...and that's that!"

"Roc," I pleaded, still looking at the clock as it ticked closer to five, "You're going to regret this. This is it. This is your chance. You are going to regret this. Please don't do this." I was almost hysterical at this point, and I started babbling. "Look, you can still get in the shower...I'll drive you to the train...please..."

He shook his head with finality. Then he walked over to the alarm and re-set it, for the time he would normally be getting up to go into the business.

"Go back to sleep." He shoved me away and pounded his pillow.

And he quit the Academy that very day.

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