Last week Matt texted me.
"I guess you don't even care that I'm DYING."
He does this from time to time. Not the dying thing, specifically, but the "I guess you don't even care" followed by some news he's just sharing with me for the first time. It translates to "ask me about this." It's a very healthy form of communication for a nearly 40-year-old man.
I discovered upon inquiry that Matt had the flu. This was a Friday and we were supposed to sheet-rock or something-manly his basement that evening, but since he was no longer up for it I told him I would just come over and make chicken soup BECAUSE I AM MOTHER TERESA but also because I have no social life and Skylar was studying and I'm terrified of loneliness.
So I showed up to his house with a 5-pound chicken and some vegetables. It took until 9:00 to finish making dinner, which I had started referring to as "European Soup" so the timing would seem intentional.
Matt was looking worse by this point. He was shivering and had completely lost his appetite. So after giving him the "AFTER I SLAVED OVER THE HOT STOVE ALL EVENING FOR YOU" lecture, I got into the car and went home.
Over the next couple of days he texted and called with updates on his "condition." Long story short, it wasn't improving. And by Sunday evening he had a fever of 103.5 degrees, which is not a temperature any body should be, but especially not a nearly-40-year-old man body.
Skylar and I drove to Matt's place around 7:30 PM to gather him since we didn't think we could forgive ourselves if we let him die alone without at least understanding to what level we are beneficiaries in his will.
We got to his very dark house and walked in, calling his name and getting no response. I was 100% sure I was about to stumble upon horror when I found him in his bedroom, groaning. He had sweated so much I had to swim to him.
He pried himself from the bed, a long white blanket wrapped around him, and crawled to the car, refusing to put on shoes or gather any personal items other than a toothbrush along the way.
That was 48 hours ago and he hasn't left my house yet.
He doesn't have a car or anything of his own besides the clothes he was wearing when we gathered him.
Want to know a thing I didn't know was going to be happening to my week? Sharing underwear with Matt Broome.
This morning Skylar and I started feeling like maybe we were going to get charged with kidnapping at some point. Matt doesn't have a car at our house. He doesn't even have shoes. He's like a 1950s housewife in the midwest. He's literally stranded until one of us agrees to take him back home.
Plus, he's weak. He can barely walk from room to room. He just rolls from the bed to the couch, or vise versa, sometimes taking his temperature along the way, which has hardly dropped below 102.
He reports he's finally feeling better today, apparently well enough to have this text exchange with me this afternoon:
I'm glad he's feeling better, because I would be devastated if I lost that nearly-40-year-old, even if I'm not listed in his will.
Also, GET YOUR FLU SHOT THIS YEAR.
~It Just Gets Stranger