06 March 2012

my gooey little head

March 3, 2012

Is it odd to not feel sick enough? It’s like this: with decidedly less ado than February’s batch, my chemo pills arrived yesterday and I started my third round last night; this morning I am icky but not enough for my liking. It’s odd, right? But it’s like this: everybody wants to feel like they’ve gotten their money’s worth. Whether they actually have or not is a question for the Marxists and the Capitalists; most folks rely on the much less complicated system of value analysis—feeling. And I don’t feel as if I have gotten my money’s worth of chemo today because I don’t feel sick enough.

I want my chemicals to make haste. Get to the front-lines, join ranks with the bad guys, and assault by reckless salvo. Strike willy-nilly, slash slapdashily. In short, make me sick.

Tomorrow, I’ll regret this bravado. Today, this trifling nausea is a waste of my time.

March 5, 2012

Last night’s pills were hard to take. Probably because last night was hard to take. You should have seen me. Watching TV balled like a baby in his binkie. Eating saltines and sipping Powerade. Pining for bedtime because, as yet, or ever really, I do not get nauseated in my dreams.

And, I get to smoke cigarettes in my dreams—moderately this time around, mostly in a social setting, always cool and never unhealthy. Talking about it now is making me sick. Wide is the gulf between dreams and reality; and I say this with a reasonable understanding of Psychology (with a capital P, that is, which is to say in the scholarly sense in that it has been granted sanctuary in the cloisters of modern curriculum where it becomes fast friends with Creative Writing, with a capital C and a capital W). In olden times, I would need a cigarette break after so taxing a syntactical parenthetical; today, though, the thought is yarky.

March 6, 2012


It’s not a bad word. Shit, it doesn’t even meet the four-letter standard. It’s the part of us that is not a part of anyone else and everyone else has its counterpart; and those counterparts, those other egos, are not necessarily antagonistic toward our own. Even grammatically, the third person expression of the previous concept does not feel incompatible with the concept’s implication. In other words, one of the great commonalities across our species (and a host of others, arguably) is the innateness of individuality.

[Go back to the beginning of this entry and add the following preface: In my humble opinion. Then come back here where I’ll reiterate that preface and acknowledge the array of differing philosophies of mind and soul which have a legitimate, though largely incomprehensible to we laypersons, claim on the subject of ego.]

My ego.

While not necessarily in direct opposition to yours, it does suffer from a sort of blindness with respect to yours. A blindness that can be semi-corrected by a variety of lenses but for which no Lasik precision exists in the phenomenal world. In my humble opinion.

Where am I going with this we all want to know? (OK, you two are excused. You there rolling your eyes and you there tennis-texting with your secret lover. Hit the bricks. I thank the rest of you for your kind attention—you are a credit to yourselves and our species.)

My ego on chemo.

Last night as I was watching a movie, I became sad. The movie saddened me. Not a scene in particular but the movie as a whole. Usually, I am able to consider my emotions in the context of the moment as well as in a larger context—a novel-sized context that involves many characters, subplots, and exotic vistas. Last night though, I could not wrap my mind around the sadness. I tried. I lost track of the movie at times, distracted by empty efforts.

In the context of the moment, explication of an emotion is moot no matter how desirable—it can be explained but only after the immediate fact. Because we don’t lob an emotion out in front of us that we may come upon it intentionally. (If you do then you too are excused.) We stumble on or crash against or fall into an instance that evokes X emotion.

As for that larger context, however, I was flummoxed. Why couldn’t I crack my egg and poke my gooey little head into the wide world? For all my pecking, my whole world was goo.

The movie ended and the credits rolled. The score’s refrain gathered layers and grew its gravid mass of pathos. The sadness lingered and I was sick.

I was sick. Balled in my binkie. Bedtime reprieve hours away. A clue! I revisited my sadness armed with this clever clue of mine. Hold there, you sadness, explain yourself . . .

but . . .

I was sick. Balled in my binkie. Bedtime reprieve hours away. A clue! I revisited my sadness armed with this clever clue of mine. Hold there, you sadness, explain yourself . . .

but . . .

I was sick. Balled in my binkie. Bedtime reprieve hours away. A clue! I revisited my sadness armed with this clever clue of mine. Hold there, you sadness, explain yourself . . .

Finally, when the music stopped—all gaffers duly acknowledged—I sat up. Another clue—my head swam and nausea threatened my giblets with vomit. And this was my brief conclusion at the moment: my body’s sickness had infected my ego (yes, figuratively, of course . . . say, who let the eye-roller back in?) which aggravated my ego’s chronic blindness.

So today, in these morning hours of relative unqueasiness, I crack my egg and see what lies beyond my goo. Beyond my goo, I see you. You with your tower of unpaid bills. You beneath the overpass, starving and cold. You in the shower, your ablution for rape, for a false shame. You serving life for the crimes of a free man. As far as I can see, I can see you.

Especially you, today. You, one mention of guacamole away from up-chuck, watching your movie, sick and unspeakably sad. I see you and in the morning you’ll feel a little better and next week much better, and the following even more so.

Then you’ll go through it all over again—all of you. All of us. Trading in our minor peeves for crippling tumors now and then and sometimes swapping our fathomless pain for hilarious mirth.

It's tough luck being sick, no doubt. Sick--four letters, smack on the nose. A once healthy self-awareness becomes self-obsession--the ego awash with egotism and sinking into blindness. And then comes the bad news . . . there ain't much you can do about it. Get your binkie and your saltines and your Powerade, and brace yourself for a sense of solitude.

Your ego on chemo.


  1. Oh god. You made me cry. Not for you. Not pity cry. Humbled cry. Binkie, please.

  2. Sorry, Amy, I did not intend to swipe binkies altogether, just shrink them to make our toes stick out a bit.