Sunday, August 28, 2011
When Scott told me he had cancer, my fingertips went numb. What popped out of my mouth was not planned: “But, you’re too cute to have cancer”. He shrugged and said, “I know”. The quiet closed in. Our fingers circled the stems of cut wine glasses. The
heat bowed the trees and the cicadas droned on as if nothing had changed. The sweat dripped down my neck and the wicker chair cut into the back of my knees. And he had cancer. Georgia
Three weeks ago. All that happened three weeks ago. Now chemotherapy, radiation, biopsies, stages, are all part of his new vocabulary. He never planned for his vocabulary to increase in exactly this way. He’s pissed off, I know. I’m pissed off for him, for his family, for his friends, and for me. This crap hit right out of a dark corner like a
cab. New York City
Scott is a young forty-six years old, his eyes as blue as the Pacific Blue in the Crayola box. He still looks like a young boy in many ways. The way his eyes flicker brighter when he’s getting ready to say something others would consider crude or rude. The way his head dips to the side a little when he knows that his listener has suddenly found himself/herself a victim of his intended shock, like a prizefighter jabbing a quick left that isn’t expected. The way he sometimes unexpectedly hugs me; small gifts parceled out that I tuck away. The way he has fathered, and continues to father, an amazing young woman. The way he has exhibited an unprecedented gentleness and love with those he has taken care of in their time of illness.
And now? The way he’s facing a son-of-a-bitch war, scared, pissed, but determined.
There will be many battles in this war. I’ll keep count of the ones he wins. I know how damn tough he is- he’ll win most of them. I have to admit, it’s the war itself that I’m worried about. I want to give him an AK-47 or a rocket launcher, maybe a nuclear warhead thrown in for good measure. I want this war to be one that is in his hands, but it’ll largely be in the hands of radiologists, oncologists, and surgeons. They will burn his skin, pump drugs in his system that will make him sick, and cut into him in an effort to excise the demon. But I know him. He will throw a few pity parties. He will cry a little, bitch a lot, and make a lot of off color, dark jokes that will make most people uncomfortable.
But as long as he’s saying “fuck cancer” and is bitching and throwing back a few Bailey’s in his coffee I know he’ll be okay in the long run. After all, he’s made me laugh for years and amazed me with his totally gritty attitude towards the human condition, so he can't go anywhere. He hasn’t shocked me enough.
Saddle up, my friend. It’s gonna be a bumpy fucked up ride, but I love you.
Posted by Liti