Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Failure of the Day: The Most Time-Consuming Clock

Time passes however it damn well chooses. There are weeks that are over before you can finish your Coke, and weeks that you don’t notice and that don’t notice you—time is a stranger; not even eye contact as you pass each other on the sidewalk.

Then there are weeks like this, Wednesday to Wednesday, Chris working long hours, and no on else knows what I’m waiting for. You don’t invite other people into this kind of time—at least I don’t. Maybe that’s a social misunderstanding on my part but it seems discourteous at best to drag people into your drama before you even know for sure if it exists. I limit the causalities.

One thing I’ve decided: if it’s cancer, I have to re-write my book as a memoir—the story wouldn’t be believable as fiction anymore. It’s too much. And I find myself getting comfortable with cancer—I’m warming right up to it. In a way it’s relaxing; to return to being the sick girl is just so easy, so familiar. It’s alluring. I still haven’t quite figured out who I am if I’m not the sick girl, so being her again would solve that problem at least.

But a week is a long time to spend on an identity cusp. I don’t actually expect it to be cancer; the odds as I understand them are in my favor. In my 20s of course, no matter how the odds were split, it was inevitable that I would find myself in the smaller wedge of pie. I was pretty unlikely. But a decade of outright healthfulness like the one I’ve just had makes one feel a good bit more insulated. “Anything can happen—but it probably won’t” sums up the uneasy peace I made with my catastrophic history and what it means for my remarkably still not catastrophic present.

Still, though, a long week. And a long day; they are supposed to call today but it’s 3 PM and so far, nothing.

6 PM UPDATE: *AH-OOOO-GAH* Doctor just called and sounded the all-clear. Looks like I'm still more likely than not.


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