Friday, July 09, 2010

Time Is Passing

Since the seizure earlier this week, I received terrible news. A young friend of mine, a gifted lad with a kind heart, a curious mind, and a great sense of humor has been diagnosed with an adrenal gland tumor. He's very young, and his pain is offensive to anyone who insists that the universe be good to children. It's not, but it should be. It's just not right to test a child with a painful illness. Childhood is meant for other adventures. We have our entire adult lives to spend in dispiriting poor health, battling unseen biological horrors within us from a hospital bed. But a child deserves to be pain and illness free. To wonder what lurks out in the dark night, to feel mother's unconditional love, to laugh and throw snowballs and make fart jokes.

Dandelion wine.

The world isn't fair, and we have to live in the world as is. My hope is that the tumor is benign, and that this will soon be over. He's in such terrible pain.

While my young friend suffers, my thoughts turn to him and his recovery. I'm very lonely these days, and if there were anything I could do for him, or his family, I would. They have but to ask. Sadly, I haven't much to offer. No money. No wisdom to impart. These days find me hot, reading volumes, and looking to the end of my life. Many people with borderline personality disorder eventually turn to suicide, and with every day of empty struggle I have to be honest in my assessment that I won't long survive. I'm not looking for pity or help, it's just the way it looks to me. And now that I have this seizure disorder, and my father is almost 80 years of age, the future looks bleak. My father and I back each other up. He is my best friend.

A dark day will come within the next five years. On that day, or during that night, fear and sadness and loneliness will overtake me. I'll do something stupid, and the following day will be the first in decades to get along without me being a part of it. But no complaints here. Actually, a celebration. I've known love and felt exultation and the sting and fall that follows. On a cool Autumn day when I was 13 I sat on our porch in Billerica and wrote short stories on my manual typewriter. My parents were good to me, and I got to enjoy Christmas and Halloween. When I got older, my father and I raised hell with the Socialist Party USA. I got a college degree in biological anthropology. In the early 1990's, I had dinner with Frank P. Zeidler, Socialist Mayor of Milwaukee, and we talked about politics, health care, and women. In the late 1980's, I went to Tanglewood and heard Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony and Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherezade. In Concord, Massachusetts, I heard Tchaikovsky's violin concerto and Dvorak's slavonic dances.

I'm a very lucky man, and it will be over in a few years. But it ends for us all. The loneliness is getting hard. And self-loathing. I've some fight left, but no more than half a decade. And that's fine by me. I'm a lucky man! Great family and friends and women in my life.

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