OK, it’s here, finally! “September Son“, “Falling Leaves“, “Mozart’s Requiem“, in a word, C-A-N-C-E-R. My mother has cancer, my mother is going to die from cancer. What, might I ask, does that fucking mean? Well, ships have dry rot, Iron has rust, we as a species have cancer. The result is the same. After a visibly pain ridden final existence of slow incremental sliding into decrepitude, you fall apart and then disappear from everything beyond those who were always in close contact. My mother, so says the lung doctor, has cancer. Better a witch doctor, sez I. But what can I really say? Nothing.
It’s a show stopper, a heart renderer, a strong breeze that overcomes every conversation. The doctor dropped her with one shot. A simple utterance. And, of course, I’m mad! Just like every other family member of every other patient affected by this malady. Just mad as Hell. Looking in the back of my mind to find someone culpable of mistreatment, malpractice or just plain neglect. Someone, I can admonish and demand some miracle cure to put things back the way they were just a few short weeks previous. But, it doesn’t work that way. Not when your loved one starts getting hooked up to different kinds of tubes into the buzzing clicking beeping array of medical devices consuming her. No, you just have to sit there and take it, slap after slap, hope eternal battered into a beat up banged up figment of what was once in mind as a probable outcome.
The problem with the past is that it is just like a very long dinosaur’s tail that once cut off, doesn’t leave you with much to go on with. So when you go back home to freshen up, there in every corner at every angle of the eye, a memory. A memory of how things once were and ought to be. But the problem is that everything in the universe comes with a shelf life subject to another roll of ceaselessly tossed dice. Winners and losers and very few break-even’s. So now the living are condemned to go on living. And those who have been diagnosed as little or no hope of beating their malady rendered into the unconscious past. A flood of oblivion that disintegrates hundreds and thousands of minutes and hours of mutual boredom and familiarity with your closest companion to muddy amorphous mass of yesteryear. Like the LaBrea tar pits in Los Angeles, hopefully only the good times come bubbling up throughout the detritus of shoulda’s, coulda’s and can’t do’s anymore.
And the survivor much in the same way the soul scarred Ishmael, floats about in the open water looking for a fellow traveler to throw them a line. But, no, in then just solitary empty horizons arching into infinity over an enquiet ocean of perpetual sorrow.