Thursday, August 30, 2007

Krazy Carma

I am not sure how I am handling myself at the moment. I don’t want to sit here and use everything thing that is happening around me as an excuse for the rollercoaster of emotions that flip and loop inside me, but perhaps they are right… Maybe I do internalize things.

Anon: Say it
ME: No
Anon: Say it… you will feel better
ME: No. I will feel like a fool.

I already feel like a fool. If I was my friend I would have slapped me around a long time ago. No, my father is not an excuse. “I don’t care how hard a time they think you are going through Miss Graham, get your shit together and stop behaving like a shadow of yourself! And don’t cry when I say this to you, just because you know that it is true.”

Anon: Stop being so hard on yourself
ME: Am I?
Anon: Yes. You should give yourself a break
ME: I feel like I am on a permanent break.

But really I am not. I cannot escape dreams that keep me awake at night. Dreams that feel so real that my heart starts racing, I feel punched in the face and awake to a tear soaked pillow. I drive to work in the morning with a vague idea of the dream, but when I sit I at my desk I just feel stripped, empty and sad. I drink my coffee, share anecdotes with my friend, perk myself up until I am running around the office, singing out loud, strumming my air guitar and flicking my hair while pretending not to hear them comment on how much fun I am. It is fake and within minutes I am head down at my desk wondering when 4.20 will arrive.

Anon: You know I love you
ME: I am not crazy. I know I am loved. I know that this is all normal. I know I am just going through the motions, but I want to move on now.
Anon: You will when the time is right.
ME: What you Yoda or something? What is ‘the time is right’? Am I not master of my own destiny? Can I not make the time? Can I not turn the wheels myself and get the motions moving?
Anon: Yes, but you won’t.

Who can argue with that?

Another round of dreams last night and I won’t bother repeating them to you. I know what they mean, I know where they are coming from, and although my pillow was dry this morning, the empty feeling in my heart is there all the drive to work and not even a hundred cups of coffee could cure the chill-blains left from the hot, cold, hot and cold wind chills.

Dad: We are not going to sit on the pity wagon
ME: No we are not!
Dad: We are going to be strong, tell them to “Bog Off!” Everything will work itself out.
ME: Yeah you are right
Dad: And if it doesn’t you’ll look after your mother right?
ME: And if it doesn’t I am sure the inheritance you leave us will cover putting mum in a good home.

Thank goodness my father taught me the art of laughing at oneself… I am laughing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The 'C' Word

They say the worst part is not knowing. I think that not knowing was pretty great. Not knowing meant not having to think about it, not even putting it as a consideration in your mind. Now it is there, not even a figment of the worst parts of my imagination, it is real and when something is real you have to deal with it. No hypotheticals here. This time I am not being a drama queen, although I wish so much that I was and it was not really as bad as it is… even though I am aware it is not as bad as it could be. ‘Not as bad as it could be’ is small consolation. It is bad enough.

The worst part is having to tell people. People want to know. They want to be there for you, they want to show they care and although you say you need to be on your own to absorb it all, you want to know that they care… It does help. But in order for them to know, you have to open your mouth and say it:

“Hey, how are you doing? I am doing ok I guess. Actually my dad has Colon Cancer.”

I feel embarrassed saying the words. Mostly because I know the words of pity that will follow, and although you want to be pitied, at the same time it is not me who is sick and even if it were, I by rule of thumb don’t want pity. But then again the pity does help. I guess it is the same as admitting you have a drug problem. The hardest part is getting the words out of your mouth. I mean what is the polite way to shit all over your friends’ good mood and tell them your father has a serious illness.

I don’t even know why I am writing this blog about it… maybe it is because I need to get the thoughts out of my head and onto some kind of paper. Maybe it is just another way to sit at my computer, pretending to work, not feel sorry for myself while not Googling the words ‘colon cancer’. I actually did, but just to check the spelling and after getting a quick glance at the number of people Wikipedia claims die per year from it, I quickly closed the window and did a speed walk of the office to get it out of my head. Clearly it is not totally out… but I accept it and am disregarding it.

I know there are friends who would have me doing all kinds of research into the illness so that I have a better understanding of it, but right now I don’t want to look the thing in the eye… I want to just see it from the corner and be aware of what it is, where it is, and be ready to crush it. I leave the understanding of the beast to the experts, and those friends of mine who are interested and then trusted to give me the PG version. I hate horror movies.

It is funny to see who are the first people you call in this kind of crisis. I guess not so much funny as telling. I guess not so much telling as necessary. I noticed that the first thing I wanted to do was be held… I still want to be held. My bed never seemed as big as it did last night… I have never felt so alone and I craved the touch of someone. I know all about this… grief somehow makes you crave a touch. Perhaps it is a way for us to feel human, feel alive despite the idea of death being in the air. I needed it so much last night. I needed to be held, to feel another body next to me, holding me, letting me know it would all be ok. But there was no-body, nobody that I wanted. At 1 am I considered calling the girls for a group hug to fill out my bed, but reconsidered and decided that that might be a bit weird… especially after spending the evening watching The L word. I think it could have taken our friendship to a whole new level.

That is the other thing… laughter. I crave laughter and I am joking about having colonoscopies and regular colonic irrigations. Bottoms are a very funny topic and there are endless possibilities to make a crack about your crack. I’m not sure it is normal or appropriate to make jokes this early on… I’m not sure my friends and family expect it, in between tears I am laughing. I am even trying to make light of it, because seriously, what else can I do?

The say laughter heals. They say things like, “Be positive. There is something healing in positive energy.” I believe that. I believe that if you are afraid of crashing into the tree you ultimately will. I believe that if you set your sights on the horizon you will ultimately go into that new and brighter day. I believe that my sadness cannot help my father, nor would he want it. I guess we are alike in that way. We don’t want pity. We just want someone to make us smile. As he once said, “I know what I want on my tombstone. The same as Spike Milligan, ‘I told you I was sick’...” Appropriate no?

Laughter will heal. So I promise dad this will be the only time I morbidly mention the C word. I love you.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Feel Good Inc.

I had trouble sleeping last night, despite sleep walking home from drinks with my favourite people in Tel Aviv. Just as my eyes closed the ‘feel good’ intro began thumping in my ears… dum da dum da dum feel good! My eyes wide open, I stared upwards at my ceiling and just as thoughts began to swarm into my mind I closed my eyes in the hope of closing out the thoughts and then…

Dum da dum da dum… Feel Good!

Lord! Let me sleep! I stare back up at the ceiling and try not to let the thoughts come into my mind, but after a number of failed attempts and a rendition of Feel Good to try and get it out of my system, I give in and allow myself to absorb myself in thought.

I think about how the month as gone by so quickly, and my time in England was now a month ago. I think about events leading up to my going to England and how miserable I was. I think about a year before. I think about how happy I was just being me. I think about the people around me, those who I love who make me feel good about myself, those who I love who make me feel bad about myself and those who I love to hate who can make me feel good or bad on any given day. I think what my life would be like without all those people in my life and dismiss the thought immediately.

I then move on to thinking about the weekend. I think about spending Friday cooking new Israeli foods I have never tried before and being surprisingly impressed with the results. I think about the simple pleasure of feeding the hungry, watching their faces as they take their first bite and seeing the glazed look of satisfaction on their faces when they realise they can stuff in no more. I think about my mother and how she would make dinners ever day for us to sit together as a family and how she must have felt watching us all wolf down her delicious meal. I then think how she must have felt when we grimaced and said, “Urgh I hate brussel sprouts!” I think to myself ‘ where can I find some brussel sprouts in Israel?’

I think about my time in Israel and how much I have changed, and yet how I will never really change. I think about a week filled with the comment, “Everyone needs a little bit of Channah in their lives.” I think what a sweet thing it is to hear, and what and honour to hear more than once, and think how deep down I wish I really believed it. I think it is a good thing there is a lot of me to go around. I think maybe I have been spreading myself too thin. I think that giving yourself is a wonderful thing. I think I have nothing left to give. I think that there is always more to find.

I think about the writing I am doing and how I am neglecting my blog. I think about the topic I am writing about and how the first paragraph might actually offend someone I really care about. I think maybe I will cut it out and start again. I think about how many times I have just cut it out and started again.

I think about he who shall not be named and find myself torn. I think about what David said and wonder if being open and honest really does make a difference. I think about protecting myself and then realise that that must be what they mean when they say Cancers are shell people. I think about cutting him out of my life and never looking back. I think about walking away with a smile on my face. I hear his best friend’s voice in my head and so I stand still. I think for the moment there is nothing wrong with standing still. I think that one day everything will work out. I think about what made me feel good a year ago and I think about what makes me feel good now.

I close my eyes and the feel good melody comes back into my ears, but this time I drift off to sleep in time with the beat and I know that regardless I do feel good.