A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || January 23, 2012 || 1:45 am

I want a cigarette. I want to connect my mouth to it and drag deeply from it in a way that could only be described as ‘ridiculously porny’. Of course that’s stupid, especially given these circumstances.

There are guns (‘weapons’, natch)  all over this house: Three down in the shop, five in the office, one (maybe two?) in my father’s room. This doesn’t bother me. I was raised around them; my father took me shooting for the first time when I was five, took me hunting with him as early as my mother would allow it. I loved it. I loved wearing dresses and I loved shooting guns. To me they were equally enticing and I felt just as powerful doing the one as I did doing the other.

Kyle and I are sharing a room, a bed. It’s strange: We didn’t share a room growing up. Hell, we didn’t even share our father’s house at the same time for very long at a stretch. Now everything is halved in equal shares: The bed, the dresser, the closet, the time spent alone in there striving for emotional equilibrium. We have a writing desk and an oldskoo tape player and the window is always open because our father keeps it so godforfuckingsaken hot up in this joint. His basal temperature runs on the low end normally.

Coincidentally, so does Kyle’s and also mine. The things we are learning about one another, the three of us, would stagger lesser mortals. Maybe soon it will crack each of us down our respective middles, who knows? Right now we laugh a lot when the three of us are together.

Kyle and I both have his eyes, his thick and wavy hair, his savvy, his stubborn streak. We put our heads together conspiratorially when he is out of the room, when he is out for a walk, when he is napping (which is frequent now). We compare and contrast what he is telling us individually. We catalog our observations, ticking them off to one another. We review facts, we review feelings, we wish we could rely on our gut instincts because each of us typically boast a strong internal compass. Everything is muddied in this place, though; time stretches out and vibrates with intensity and then accordions back, leaving us running from one appointment to the other, long drives and labs and chemo and shots and scans and then back to the stretched-out quiet of this big house again.

There is some sort of field here that makes our compasses obsolete but offers the respite of long and thorough naps in place of intrinsic knowledge. So odd that I have never slept so well and so deeply as I have here, in the middle of trepidation, during three-hour naps. Trading knowing for rest isn’t as easy as all that, though….I have a lifetime of Just Knowing and Not Sleeping to get around, see? I’m having to do an awful lot of adjusting and feel as if I’m seated just exactly four inches to the left of myself. Anything I might perceive as True North is a complete lie, and I’m fully aware of this, thankfully.

Kyle has dreamed him shooting himself in the head more than once now. The other day I went in to vacuum his room and noticed his nine mil on the lip of his platform bed, right up there by his head, not down further where his hand would fall instinctively if he was sharply woken. I looked at it dumbly, thinking of her dreams, but not appalled or filled with dread. I don’t have it in me to think he will do such a thing, I guess. Also I guess that it is probably not much of my business if he chooses to. He has a softball in his chest, for Chrissakes. How do I know that I wouldn’t entertain a much more drastic, sudden completion to that softball, as well?

I don’t think he means himself ill and I tell her this. Kyle reminds me that he waited a year to even get diagnosed, waited almost three more months before seeking conventional treatment(s). She has had the dreams. In them we run innocuous errands, we buy milkshakes, we come back and our father has removed himself from this, all of it, the tedium and the lethargy and the pain. Thus, she listens carefully to the things he says to us before we climb into the car, watches well his demeanor.

Yesterday he hesitated, he didn’t know if he could finish this. Today he ate cookies all day and laughed. I think there may be more cookies and more laughing.  I know there will be more days where he doubts his ability to follow through, too. I’m not keeping count of either one, because something inside me says that is the way to madness.

We are here, our hands are knit together, we look one another in the eyes when we speak. I want to be more present than I’ve ever been in my life. The outcome is just an aside.

I don’t expect anyone outside the Cancer Bubble to understand.

11 worked it out »

  1. EarnestGirl 1.23.2012

    It takes some learning, the sitting there to the left of yourself. Sometimes that is where your kinder, more patient self sits. Takes courage too. Fortitude. And a not insignificant dose of so-be-it-ness.

    I love that your “hands are knit together”.

    You are doing it just fine.

  2. TwoBusy 1.23.2012

    You continue to inspire awe and wonder in me, on so many different levels.

  3. fridita (just_a_grrl) 1.23.2012

    This is exquisite. There’s so much more I want to say but you’ve left me wordless as well as breathless.

  4. leel 1.23.2012

    this, THIS here? is what inspiration is made of. and you? you are what the cream of the crop are made of.
    one day, hour, moment, second at a time. roll around in them. drench yourself. take it all in. and love and take care of one another.

  5. Dawn B 1.23.2012

    You are just all kinds of amazing. Sending the 3 of you love.

  6. Jess 1.23.2012

    First, that’s one of my favorite songs of all time.

    Second, you’re one of my favorite people of all time. For 24,901 reasons (and counting).

    Do what you will with the first part, but you’d best not forget the latter note. I don’t.


  7. pgoodness 1.23.2012

    Cancer brings a clarity and desire for presence that no one ever expects. It’s odd.
    I’m proud of you and Kyle – this is hard but you are handling it with humor and honesty and I’m glad you’re sharing it here.

  8. Cheryl 1.23.2012

    I want to say something but words escape me.

  9. Chibi Jeebs 1.23.2012

    Sending you biggest, fattest, squooshiest bewbie-filled hugs and all my love.


  10. Seaweed 1.26.2012

    Well, I’m not in the Cancer Bubble now and haven’t had that experience yet. But I feel as if I understand it perfectly because of your talent in describing it. It makes perfect sense, every word and every minute.

  11. Ginger 1.27.2012

    I’ve not had to experience the Cancer bubble firsthand to date, but I hope you can feel love and warmth being directed at you inside the bubble. Cuz I’ve got that for you friend.


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