Saturday, July 22, 2006

7.22.06, Brief Indecision

Walked into the kitchen, which is still shaded out because of yesterday's heat — and what they say will come today as well, and took a left turn, walked about ten feet to the far wall where I stood facing the sink, coffee maker, coffee grinder, rice maker, dish rack. For a brief moment I thought about what Frank asked me once, or I thought rather the object of his question, at what point when you get up every morning do you think "Ah, fucking cancer"? Today I woke up and it was already woven into my thoughts from the left turn, the ten feet, the facing of the morning machines.

Cancer, cancer, schedule, calendar, how long, tasks, limited range of drugs, more cancer, less calendar . . . for a moment that's all I thought, not consciously but still that's what I woke up with. Then it hit me, "It's simple. Just make coffee. That is clearly the answer to everything." Just like in Home for the Holidays when Holly Hunter and Anne Bancroft are together talking family shit in the kitchen at 3 in the morning, what does mom do? She puts on a pot of coffee. Every morning, then, too, that's got to be the same answer. It's Pascalian, ". . . kneel and move your lips as if you believe. . .", the exact same behaviorist principle. You'd be surprised at how much of life's routine will simply automatically begin its motion, just start to move by itself, once the beans are ground, cold water filled in, and the switch flipped. It all starts. It's all about making coffee.

This is how the terminal psychology seems to work, if I am in any way representative: News from the restaging wasn't really news in the sense it was information I was waiting for but already knew, information I knew would be coming at some point; the only remaining question was precisely "when will it come?" "when does the cancer pick up and start to move again?" Those are the basic stakes, point being that it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. But the last restaging brought unexpected good news, and so this week, we, I at least, thought "Hey, maybe we'll have one more piece of good news. Just one more."

The pychology: You receive the shittiest news, you absorb and process it, then you begin to live your new life with this knowledge. The infinite amount of time ahead of you, the juggling of projects within the mind indefinitely, the procrastination with little consequence, and simlpy taking every day for granted and people for granted and the concept of "tomorrow" for granted, all of that is wrenched up, turned over or around, and slammed down in some disfigured form. You still have to make use of it, just that now this thing, it is misshapen and unfamiliar almost. Now, the restaging restarts the whole process, but you've been through it once before so that this version is not quite so baffling, the tunnel vision, heavy crushing feeling descending on your skull, the inexplicably loud heartbeat, and the gradually collapsing vision of the whole room around you — all this happens again but not so severely. This time you know it won't beat you, you're not actually worried you'll pass out and wake when head cracks against the exam room white linoleum floor. This time there's more anger than surprise. This time you're faced with how cancer doesn't give two squirts of piss about 8 weeks of rest or healing, it will move on. This is all just to inform you. An expensive way to inform you. You've been playing on your winnings already. One message. Your winnings are about gone. Second message.


lefty said...

there, i said it. did it work? did i shout it loud enough? spot, i'm so sorry i haven't commented in forever. i do try and catch up and read everything a few times a week. stolen moments at work, you know.
i go through every day with thoughts of you, the cancer, the past, the future, history with you, history despite you and then WHAM.......the daydreaming and nightdreaming with thoughts of you front and center or blended with something else going on, end. i am jolted back to the present, your present. this can't be happening to you....i remember there is not a damn thing i can do.
i can't remember not knowing you. i don't think you know how important you are to me. all of these random thoughts are driving me mad. i'm trying to keep my girlfriend upright and focused while i'm so pissed off and sad. this long distance really sucks right now. if i could only go pick up some pho (thanks for that spot) and come over tonight. well, i could come and get you and bring you back here with the central air and we could watch home for the holidays and the ref and laugh so hard at all of the familiar, or familial, moments until rice noodles choke us. my thoughts are so crazy jumbled after that post spot. i love you so much. i think i am encroaching on a larry length post : )
just put your chucks on and come over. i miss you and i think laughter is the only decent medicine there is. you know, you are going to miss mormon, i mean pioneer day here in this fair state (not the state fair-that’s something else). a free day off work to eat your favorite...swine. hot dogs for you who are unfamiliar with the crazy customs of this crazy state. it’s bigger than the 4th and we are home to the 3rd? largest parade in the united states. the people camping out are a sight to be seen.
all of the jones’ family will be gathering at tossing salad’s for steak and farmer’s market vegies and fruit and maybe some swine. we will all be thinking, talking and laughing about you. there will be some massive fireworks and then the grind starts again. there will be no effing (sp?) mr. jones senior though. he’s not ready to witness his offsping having fun, i mean, his offspring living “immorally”. save that for another day.
you are in my every gesture and thought.
your eloquent posts are incredible but today knocked me on my ass. larry had to walk away.
xoxo, lefty

tossing salads said...

scott, just had a nice conversation with julias brother who lives across the street from me. im sitting her with tears in my eyes. i love you and i fucking dont want this happening to you. your restaging wasnt the best news but it wasnt the worst news. i have been blessed to be your sister. i can only thank you for the opportunity to have helped name you, change your diaper, watch you hit home runs, be so fucking smart that it was scary. i knew i would never be able to keep up. what a gift you are. thank you for showing me a different way of thinking, of being. i cant even imagine what knowing what you are facing means. i would like to know that i could be so brave, so thoughtful, so giving. i dont think so much is fair. we so need people like you. to make this world a better place. you have never thought of yourself as better just because of your intelliegence. you have just accepted that some can teach, give you knowledge, just accepting. from one of the most intelligent people on the face of the planet. fuck!!!! please keep fighting, all the way. this doesnt deserve you. we deserve you. i love you. i so want to be as brave as you. my thoughts are always with you. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Scott Jones
this might come across cold, but it is not meant to be. what you posted today, although i wish your illness never happened, i almost feel relieved to hear you confront it. i think it's good that you are so up front and honest about your feelings. what a privilege it is to be able to share that with you through your blogs. there's a lot of intimacy with all of your posts, but the nature of this one seems especially so. thank you. thank you for keeping everyone in the light when it comes to how you are actually handling all of this. you could've just as easily shut everyone out. i think you're right. although i wish with all my heart that things were different, i'm thankful to hear that you're trying to go through one day at a time (whether it'd be making a cup of coffee or something else), you're still getting up to do so - you're still fighting for every bit of "normal"; even though your post reads a little like a part of you is letting go, facing the horrid truth of the matter - i think it's all strength. i know you're just being truthful...but don't forget, "let the chips fall where they may" can still buy a lot of time if you fight for it. please keep fighting -