Sitting at work, frustrated simply due to trying to trade municipal bonds on a Friday. I should know better, but I can only chalk that up on the list of things that I used to be good at remembering and now, probably due to chemotherapy, I forget. It’s weird, having a life centered around being cerebral, and then having that fail on a regular basis.
We leave tomorrow, assuming the weather allows us to. I’ll be taking a very expensive flight Sunday if it doesn’t, I guess. Not too worried though — roads were fine today, albeit icy, and all we have to do is get about 1/3rd of the way there and it’s smooth sailing.
I haven’t packed yet — not that it will be too difficult a task, since I’m basically only bringing t-shirts, sweats, underwear, socks, 1 pair of shoes, a couple pairs of jeans and perhaps a polo or two. Some henleys in case I get cold and my lightweight pullover fleece for the same reason. A few dive-related shirts like my Guide shirts from the Aquarium to remind me of happier times. I have all of my tax stuff ready to roll, laptop and Kindle are set, battery charger, headphones, toiletries. If there’s room I’ll stuff my pillow in. A phone charger, pictures of the wife and kiddo. I would be worried more about it not being packed already but it’s not like I’m going to Fiji or something. It’s Arizona, if I forget it I can buy it.
Saw a friend and coworker yesterday and had the longest chat I’ve ever had with her. As I told her in a thank you email, it’s been enlightening during this whole thing to see who the truly good people are in my life. People I never would have expected to hear from have stepped up in amazing ways. I’m not comfortable with that, since I’m not good with being the recipient of that kind of stuff, but it’s humbling and makes me want to pay it forward, karma-wise, all the more. Perhaps that’s partially to defray the guilt I seem to feel over people worrying about me? Not sure, but regardless of motive a little more positivity can’t hurt.
I can’t remember if I mentioned my new Iron Maiden shirt in my last post, for which I again am going to blame chemo. It’s great, now I have something else to blame for that shit besides college bong hits. Anyways, I went to dim sum with a bunch of friends last weekend and apparently, since this cancer thing first started, two of them hatched a plan to get me a Iron Maiden soccer shirt with “FUCK CANCER” on the back where the name would go. Maiden’s merchandiser refused, bizarrely, so some coworkers at the scuba shop who own a printing shop did it. So they hand me this shirt, signed by a ton of people I know, and I didn’t even know how to react. Just blew me away.
Anyways my favorite Maiden song is “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” which has everything a Maiden fan could want — cool lyrics, harmonized guitars, sweet solos, the signature Maiden guitar “gallop,” etc. I could probably sink a few hours of solid debate over whether this is cause or effect, but for whatever reason since July I’ve had this song running in my head for obvious reasons.
Reflecting on my past life and it doesn’t have much time
‘Cause at 5 o’clock they take me to the Gallows Pole
The sands of time for me are running low
When the priest comes to read me the last rites
I take a look through the bars at the last sights
Of a world that has gone very wrong for me
Can it be that there’s some sort of an error
Hard to stop the surmounting terror
Is it really the end not some crazy dream?
Somebody please tell me that I’m dreaming
It’s not easy to stop from screaming
But words escape me when I try to speak
There’s a lot of truth in that song — it’s odd because lately people have asked me how I can be so seemingly calm about everything coming down the pipe. I’m not, really, but I just don’t have the strength to rail against this anymore. Plus I have no choice, which makes this simple. I mean I could skip the transplant and treatments and die painfully or try to extend my life as long as possible to be with my family. That’s it, that’s my choices. I have the best medical care I can possibly get, the logistics are worked out, the appointments all made. Not looking forward to any of this outside of my plan to try to bribe a nurse to bring me In n’ Out in the hospital, but what can I do?
But on the inside there’s this little boy, a boy I remember from when the world started to hurt when I was small. When mom was drinking and being abusive, and my parents fought what seemed like every night while I sat in my room and pretended not to hear. I feel like a part of me stopped growing then while the rest did, and through trauma throughout my life he’s looking out my eyes, scared, alone, and not sure what to do. He was there when I got destroyed by my first girlfriend cheating on me, when the reality of my first divorce sank in, when I found out I have cancer, etc. And he’s terrified of all of this coming up, wondering why this is happening, wanting a hug, wanting something else … anything else, but this inevitability. I think he’s my hope, dashed, the manifestation of what I wanted the world to be and what it ended up doing to me.
Either way, he keeps singing that song.