T guitar by S Diteman July 2011My first bone marrow biopsy took place in last room down the hall at the local hospitals’ somber cancer clinic. I had been officially diagnosed by telephone the previous Friday afternoon. Monday morning was the soonest we could meet with the doctor. My blood ran cold all weekend waiting for the empty lobby room of Dr. Jan.

We had our awful meeting, I felt so sorry for her. She seemed like a very nice woman in her late 30’s, who felt really badly about having to explain this new diagnosis to me. I wasn’t helping matters. I think I may have bordered on argumentative when she intimated how long people with my disease usually live which- even if it had been 50 years (which it very clearly was not)- it STILL wouldn’t have been long enough, because nobody wants to be told a definite DATE, a time of year, which year, in which decade. At least, I don’t. I like the whole thing about “you never know.”

It is not as if it’s not functioning. It is. I wake up and brush my teeth and wash myself and dress myself and feed myself and I when I drive the car I stay between the lines. So, as far as functioning in the universally basic drink and pee sort of way I’m not worried a bit.

Still, my head is all fucked up. And since we’re on a subject that is by its own crippling definition going to sound confused, irrational, crass, vulgar, sentimental and just generally uh, fucked up, I would like to ask that you do me the favor of relieving my already delicate voice of reason and apply (like a glimmering coat of lip gloss) your best judgment to these broken words from my pouting mouth and if you feel, at this moment, that you cannot continue to listen to what I am trying so desperately to say here – is please, let’s not continue this relationship unless you agree to like me when we’re done.

That is unreasonable I know. But see, I just got through saying my head was fucked up. Did you think I was kidding? I was. Not. Remember that? If you remember the days of Not, that tells me something. How old are you? Don’t answer that. It’s none of my business is it? Although, it would sure help us establish a few things. Like whether or not you typed your college essays on a typewriter or not. Do you remember the day that Kennedy was shot? I don’t. So that says something. It says that while you can tell me about the day that Kennedy was shot and (assuming I am not too distracted by the constant stream of chatter in my own head), I can hear your story and comprehend what went down. But you’ll know (and won’t I too?), that I can’t relate. Now if you remember the day Elvis died, now we’re talking. That is right up my alley.

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