Monday, June 9, 2008

Fuck You Day

It was eight years ago today that I was paralyzed.

Eight years. A lot has happened, in those eight years; a great deal of growing up was done. Five of those years were some of the hardest living I've ever done, some near-constant struggle for sanity amidst a hell of a lot of seductive madness - to most of which, I gave in, because I'm not as morally strong as everybody seems to think I am. I seem a decent guy, but I'm a right fucker and I know that.

I didn't know that then. Or didn't want to know that then. Doesn't matter - I was a right fucker and pretended I wasn't, and that's pretty sick.

But last night as I was falling asleep I prayed for something for which I haven't prayed in a long, long time: for health. I prayed to be healthy again, to have at least the mobility I used to have, even if I cannot get back the sensation. I want to be done with physical therapists and doctors, Western or Chinese, with orthotics and prosthetics, with scalpels and blood and calluses and the pain - the never-ending pain.

I don't mean the emotional pain. Emotional pain is easy; I can handle that. Three years ago I broke, and when that happened I unleashed a tidal wave of emotional-type pain. I made it through that, so I know I can handle it. I've been given the tools to handle that sort of thing. I'm mentally and spiritually prepared for that kind of awful.

No, I mean the physical pain. I mean waking up to hurt first thing in the morning, going to bed with hurt the last thing on my mind, waking in the middle of the night to some kind of obnoxious hurt that will not let me rest.

I tell myself: this is the price you pay for the fun you had. This is the price you pay for the way it felt, then, to escape. You pay for what you did, and if you know what's good for you you'll find a way to turn that hurt to some good use. You'll use the pain to help somebody else avoid the mess you got yourself in. That's the good you can do, that's how you can give the whole fucking ordeal enough meaning to make it alright.

But it doesn't seem to help much, because I still end up falling asleep, every year, dreaming about waking up to it being gone, waking up and finding out that the past 8 years were all some shadowy morality play in my dreams that night, long ago, in India.

I try to make deals with God, promise Him the life I'm already supposed to have given Him in exchange for health. I dream about going back to India with tears streaming down my face in thanksgiving. I'd give almost anything - maybe anything - to have it back.

I wonder what sort of devil I would be willing to cut deals with in order to make it come true, and grow afraid I may have already done so and lost it all, unwittingly.

I wish... I wish it were all over. I wish this stupid fucking anniversary stopped popping up, waylaying my mind for one day of the year, and reducing me to this sniveling pathetic piece of shit.

Fuck you, June 9th. Fuck you.


Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

For whatever it is worth, friend, you are not entirely alone with this. I read your words, and I mind that you hurt.

I remember what a bitch-and-half I was, the only time I've ever been seriously in physical pain, short term thought it was. And I nod my head in recognition of what you have written. It has been my experience that it is very hard to be a good person when in physical pain.

I'm not one who believes that pain comes because it is deserved, or that it teaches us anything much except that pain hurts. I hope yours passes, and your body's health improves, so that you can free up however much energy is going, at this point, into dealing with pain.

And I hope and trust that your life will be larger than pain, and more meaningful than its ability to leech meaning can keep up with.

Fuck pain. Bless you.


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