Sunday, June 22, 2014

Here is a list of everything I have learned

Exactly how transparent am I?
That bad, huh?

Did you ever grow so sick of yourself that waking up still here provokes the first apology of a day crammed to the rafters with apologies, and Apology's Echoes?

Here is a list of what I have learned in the short time since my brother was diagnosed with an awful metastatic case of cancer:

He can still be an asshole.
I continue to direct my emotional issues, like projectile vomit, onto others, and try to absolve myself of the guilt by choosing "strangers."
We're none of us strangers.
Should you work in the medical field, and our paths cross, woe unto you, and woe unto me, and, especially, waves of great sadness at the destructive forces of anger.
There are no excuses for the rampant stupidity of the medical folk I've been gifted with these past few weeks.
There is an abundance of hope and good feelings about the medical folk who now surround my dear brother, and I know the feelings of affection that grow in their heart for him.
It's inevitable.
Ants and spiders, particularly of the small and "cute" variety, are allowed to live.  I vacuum and mop around them.  I escort them into the great outdoor holdings of the Haddock Family Corporate Manorship. Marlinspike Hall has never been so clean, nor so infested with small, suddenly fearless insects scavenger types.
Dreams are finally a relief.
My pain did not become subsumed in the pathos of his pain.  It remains.  It's inevitable.
I beg others to forbear and badly need to develop the talent in its most personal, intimate form.
I still have the talent to be one with him -- without his knowledge and consent, but since he can still be an irritating asshole, the need to apologize for the psychic intrusion simply does not exist.  How liberating!
When I eat a green salad that is also full of vibrant reds, yellows, and more shades of "green" than the descriptor can imply, it's into his stomach -- pleasantly balanced and accepting of the vegetative offering -- that it goes.  I use about a teaspoon of excellent red balsamic vinegar as dressing most of the time and tend, at least in the last week, to eat the salad entirely with my fingers.  But I don't lick my fingers, 'cause that would be gross.  He sighs with contentment.
I recognize the edge of my own skin as the edge of myself.  His skin, however, has become amorphous, penetrable.  Until your fingertips hit the cancers' limn.  That's the wrong word, or is it?  To carefully outline, tentatively touch, desirous to probe but fearful.
Death is not the enemy, never has been.
God is not interesting.
Pound's ant's forefoot will, indeed, save you, if salvation is needed.
Love is precious, and everywhere.
Fred is afraid of dying.  I must tend to that, maybe later today, or early tomorrow, if he can manage to get his ass out of bed before noon.
My brother remains my touchstone for most of the good and right things that I know.  That goes, actually, for both of my brothers, but as they both can be assholes, and since only the one is in immediate peril from pain and suffering, Grader Boob's status as Primary Touchstone shall prevail, for the time being.  I've completely overwhelmed our elder brother with my inappropriate emotional lability and neediness.  Actually, I'd like to call it "emotional incontinence," as that makes me laugh.  I am trying, actually, though you'd never guess it, to make that elder brother laugh, as he does zing through Captain Haddock's wormhole in the moat for the occasional stealthy visit.  I love them both from *here* to eternity.  Does anyone mind, except for the medical professionals propped up in all my corners, if I take a few ibuprofen?
How are they "assholes," and how dare I call them "assholes"?  They are not, of course. They simply refuse to conform to my standards, needs, and a way of behaving that would make life infinitely easier for ME.
Am I aware of my seeping narcissism?  Oh God, yes.
Every day since his diagnosis, which now seems an aged elephant whose stink has been in my nostrils for at least a decade, my brother has accepted the resultant intrusions of advice, concern, panic, judgment, and other violences, large, small, and medium, with grace.  The asshole.
He even issued me a blanket, nonrefundable statement of forgiveness.  The asshole may regret that, as my sins pile high, but I believe him.  He is, to my knowledge, the only person of import in my existence who has never lied to me.
He is afflicted with the same genetics and inheritances, however, and that saddens me the more I think on it, and have, therefore, cut down on the time spent thinking of nature and nurture, genes versus the oppression of our progenitors.  Sometimes, I even remember the beauty of my father's eyes and the taste of a "mortgage buster" tomato sandwich.

How do we tolerate these things we learn:
"These matters that with [ourselves we] too much discuss
Too much explain?"

Yeah, well, you know Eliot HAD to happen on this blog, in this matter, eventually.  Dr. Seuss shall have equal time in my brother's cancer journey.  Maybe I will even have something original to say.

I'd offer you quotes from the Brother-Unit, himself, but he is being an asshole, and nothing but a quipster, at the moment.  Actually, and this is quite serious, he is obsessed with his "ass," and how it hurts.  No one is particularly quotable when ass pain has reached such a consuming proportion of an already overwhelming amount of pain.

Maybe I should cut the boy some slack.

Have I tried subsuming his pains, his cancer, calling it into my own wrecked body and self, instead?  Well, duh, Dear Reader.  And the universe doesn't roll that way, or didn't you know?

Time to relocate my legs, and perhaps add opiates to the ibuprofen.

Love to the Brother-Units.  For those in the know -- the StepMother-Unit is recovering from her emergency surgery, though her 85-pound little self also tried to assault one of her nurses, prompting the name plate on her hospital door to be changed to "Boom-Boom Baba," and our stepsister to be nominated for sainthood. The tiny pugilist has successfully farted, reports the dear stepsister, and therefore may now have broth. This should improve her mood immensely, we hope, and cheer her, somehow.

The biological Mother-Unit remains in-and-out of dementia, and cursed with the actions of sociopathic offspring.  Karma is a bitch.

I'm in a world of pain, and withdrawing from a drug that my new insurance, represented by its plethora of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, could not see its way to renewing, despite two week's worth of effort, at least, on Fred and my parts.  We spent most of Friday in a pharmacy, and thought ourselves victorious over The Beast, only to discover that the pharmacist managed to refill another drug that began with the same two first letters as the one I need.  It's one of three drugs I use to fight the screaming ninny spasms of CRPS, so this weekend has been fun, fun, fun.

So, I say again:  Karma is a bitch.

It's lovely outside, but too hot. The felines are wonderful, and Fred is fine, as soon as we take care of that Death Fear issue.  He's been beyond "fine," actually, more in the range of "wonderful."

Be well, all.

© 2013 L. Ryan


  1. Oh, my dear. I am so sorry.

    (Shrink tumors, shrink!)

  2. i adore the new photo. i say "new," and it's probably been up for months. bad retired educator, bad!

    i, too, am so sorry.

    shrink, tumors, shrink!


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