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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Nature of Relief

I had a visitor recently that was uninvited and, in fact, unwelcome. Fear walked with me for a while, dancing gracefully next to me as I stumbled through a few days. That Fear, he’s a dick like that, a Fred Astaire wannabe in a Dia de Muertos masque. It’s a mocking kind of grace.

I’m happy to say that he has departed, leaving my spirit able to complete its own arabesque and jete’. The lump that Mom found was benign, a simple cyst. Granted, they had to squash her bosom into an 1/8th inch flapjack to find that out, but I’m given to understand she found the pain infuriating but ultimately worth it.

And so we can exclude cancer from the laundry list of hurdles she runs daily. The lupus invites many symptoms to dwell in Babalu-aye’s parlor, but I swooned to hear that cancer had taken our collective invitation to fuck right off. The release of that fear came as a true relief.

The news came close to my first trip back to the lake after losing a friend. It was hard looking at his boat, knowing that his laugh would not issue from it again. I made certain that the first order of business upon arrival was to drink the shot in his honor, the one he always invited people over for. The one I can’t have with him, but will always have for him. The second was to my mother and her lump of mere lumpishness, though anyone telling her that is getting kicked in the jimmy. She doesn’t like me drinking.

We spoke about him over dinner, how the cancer and the loss had, like a telescope to a distant celestial object, magnified what was already a good man into a fucking inspiration. We shared some tears, but we shared a greater amount of laughter by far. I’m reminded again to be the man I want to be, not the one dwelling on “I can’t” and “what if”. I’m reminded to make tomorrow better than today.

After all, we don’t have infinite tomorrows. There's one tomorrow out there that will be our last, and until then, we should try to make each today the best day of our lives. It's not as difficult as it may seem, since each new today holds the memory and experience of every best day we've ever had.


I was feeling poetic, I suppose. I hope that today is your best. And that tomorrow is better.


  1. I too, lost a good friend. Yesterday I had received that call. I am thankful for having known him, will miss him, but hope that in the future, I will hang with him again. Good news, in regards to your mom. Cancer sucks. Good post and one that echoes. I pray that this finds you well, DB.

  2. Very well written. Great post!!

    Cancer has reared its ugly head into my life more than once, and can happily say that for the time being it is gone.

    Thank you for the reminder to cherish each day. This is something I know, but don't always do.

  3. DB - knowing you.... knowing the type of person you are...

    You ARE the man you want to be.

    And that makes me feel honored to call you my friend.

  4. @ib Sorry for your loss. If cancer were a person, I would kick it in the ballsack.

    @Melissa I forget too. And that's why I write these reminders to myself.

    @Beth Thank you, so much.

  5. Thank you, I second that action.

  6. This was lovely. I'm sorry about the loss of your friend, and glad your mother is well.


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