Monday, August 29, 2005

I haven't written in awhile. I wish I could say that I have been too busy but regardless of the fact that I actually have been very busy it wouldn't be true. I haven't been able to put down anything cohesive in awhile. Even the recent posts have been things that have struck me or that I have seen. Not trying to be overly dramatic (a hard task for me) the days seem heavier than usual. There were moments before the diagnosis, before I could put a name to what was going on that I would lay in bed for hours, depressed, not being able to move, sinking deeper. Now that I can give it a name. Now that I can say carcinoma and roll it off my lips like I have suddenly unearthed some secret I find it is paltry to give anything that name. Forgiving the fact that malignant is one of the dirtiest words in the english language, I daresay that it is too easy to dismiss mental states and physical ailments on something that I never wanted nor something that had the potential energy and determination to kill me. I have to admit, looking at it from the distance, nearing the year mark of my diagnosis, I can say that I actually admire my carcinoma, my cancerous spreading tumor that took a foothold in me and pushed ahead, further than I had in many years at that point. It had a singular goal. To move, to keep reaching. I suppose it's like that with all things malignant, all things sickly. Sometimes I think it's not such a good thing, maybe like Idi Amin pushing forward through Uganda with sickening determination. That was my first thought.

I have a friend who I look at, who I have been close with recently, who battles his body. Maybe battle isn't the word he would choose, but I rather like using it when it comes to him. I remember once watching him ease through the air on his bike, balancing in the air and coming into the restaurant I waited tables in. Funny, he pulled me out of the self loathing emotional wreckage I was suffocating myself in. He wasn't trying to, he was simply being him, talking to me. I re-met an old friend. Years later, I watch him now, I really study him closely as his body doesn't cut through the air the way it used to and I listen. His gruff, self deprecating almost cynical growl - and then suddenly I see it, behind the voice. He tells me he is faking it. And I see he is right. But he is fighting this internal and external battle. he is fighting. Daily. Armed with paint and wax and coding and words, so many words, he moves. He keeps moving. In my head he looks at me while I say all this and he raises his eyebrows as if to ask me, behind the words and the daily hellos, do you really get it? do you really see?

I think so. I do.

I talked with another dear friend today and without disclosing the contents of that conversation I wanted to emphasize to her that she touched me, that she changed my life. Literally. She stepped in and did one simple thing, She was her. That changed me. DO you know that? That as much as you have the potential to think that maybe someone may react another way, you change people's lives?

I had another direction for this entry. Something more, oh I don't know. After a year, maybe all this that I am feeling is mental. I am not discounting that there aren't physical things wrong with me. But, how do I say this, I can move. As my son and my stepdaughter grow up (and then keep growing after that) they will have a village to raise them. I saw that at my benefit. I am not saying, should anything happen to me, they will be all good. No No. I know that. What I mean is that as much shit as I have dealt the world, and I have, god I have, with these hands and this mouth and this mental wall, go ahead and ask exes and old friends. For fuck's sake, ask my friends now, the ones I have forfeited at times, been rude to, disrespected, and yet here they are clapping at me while I try not to cry onstage and I think, come up here, I want to give you what you have given me, I want to spend days with you and cut an entrance into your life, to see. Come up here so that I can cheer you, so we can all cheer you.

I see so many things, paintings in my head, utter violence that I want to shut out, a photo of a soldier carrying a dead boy, my friend Joe watching Duck Soup with Atticus, my wife's face as I came out of surgery, my father crying on the back porch when he found out hs father died. I see my mom singing Smooth criminal while me and my sister beg her to stop so she doesn't embarrass us. I see everything played out like a Super 8 movie of my life. And I too raise my eyebrows at myself and say, do you really see this?

And I haven't even begun yet.


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