Saturday, August 6, 2011


You glide down the freeway with all your senses acutely altered. Everything looks the same, yet everything feels different.

She says I’m not sure, but to you she means it’s not promising, and it sounds like a bomb exploded somewhere inside of you, only blood does not flow and nobody could see the hole the blast has made. You are certain if a doctor says she’s not sure, it means the odds are good that you are doomed.

You argue with _______ (God, Buddha, Allah, …) that it is not fair after telling yourself this isn’t true, this couldn’t be true and finally accepting that it is true. You do everything consciously right. You eat right. You keep your weight on the right side of obese line. You hate smokers and you drink sparingly. You even walk your dog everyday, five times a week whenever time and mood allow it. There is nothing you could have done to make yourself healthier, and if there is, you are convinced they haven’t been invented yet.

How in vain it all is. There was certainly an inarguable reason for each of the knick knack, paper, souvenir, furniture, clothes, jewelry, key chain, and all of the “just in cases” that you have to keep, but you can no longer remember why. How you fumed over the neighbor’s dog doing its mud pie business on your lawn, but now you know there may be a chance you won’t be here to enjoy your lawn much longer. And the reason why you stopped talking to ________? You search high and low in your head, but a valid “why” could not be found anywhere. There was a plausible reason you went on trips with friends and thought your life was wonderful and somehow would stay wonderful. God has a different plan for you. It was just not the right time to reveal it to you yet. The noisy neighbor’s dog barking non-stop drove you crazy, but can no longer make you angry, only sad, because you may not have to suffer it much longer. The trees in the backyard will probably be here long after you are gone, and that day could be sooner than you know.

Maybe you did something punishable in God’s eye and now is the time to repent. You fight back tears and make resolutions. You will be more patient with your mom, who has the patience of a dictator. You will forgive your friend’s little faults here and there, because you are certainly not perfect yourself. You will let your loved ones know, despite the difficulty, how much you love them, and do it often. But you will do these only if God lets you live and the result turns out negative. You are not going to do any business in a cost ineffective way.

All these are going through your mind three hundred times a day, regardless what you do to distract, encourage, or mentally slapping yourself in the face to make it disappear. Some days you are at the bottom of the ride and every minute is a torture to endure. Some days you pick yourself up and tell yourself “I can fight it. So many people fought and won. So can I.” But a little voice at the back of your head says, at the same time, “Yeah, but so many people fought and lost, too!” So the cycle repeats like the big wheels in a carnival. Days lost meaning and loved ones stopped talking to you because you are acting weird. Be that way, you say to yourself, you guys are going to regret it when you find out I have a terminal disease! But it gives you little comfort, if any.

And the call comes when you least expect it--inside of a grocery store. She does not come straight out and say it. Instead, she asks how you feel, is everything okay, is the incision healing fine, etc, etc. You warn yourself “This can't be good. She is easing me into the bad news. Don’t cry. Don’t fall apart now.” while looking frantically around for something to hold on or sit down, but there isn’t any in the bacon and sausage section. You push the cart to the side and hide your face in front of the cold freezer, so nobody can see your devastated expression. After a hundred years of unbearable chitchat and pleasantries, she finally tells you the biopsy turns out to be benign, and she will see you in a year. At this point your stress level is at the highest, and, like an overstretched rubber band all of a sudden let loose, you just want to scream “This should be the first sentence you say, dumb ass!” -- already forgetting the “be more patient” promise you made earlier.

Looking back at the dark valley you just traversed, you still seem to be able to see the intertwined shadow of God and Lucifer. Not only they are constantly tangoing together, they are exceedingly more intimate than you had ever realized.


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