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It has to Count For Something

April 13, 2016

The doctors told me to stay out of the sun.
They told me not to exert myself.
They told me to stay away from cold.
I didn’t listen to them.
I went surfing

Talk about conflicted!

I didn’t even grasp the range of low and high emotional fields I had stampeding through me.

It started just driving to my surf spot.

Some idiot woman in a BMW (I know shock of all shocks, but it’s a stereotype most people can live and identify with) unnecessarily passed and then cut me off.

I immediately shift into not anger but rage. But don’t act on it.

Right now the chemo makes me sporadically woozy, heavy legged, and marble-footed, and there’s a tightness below my stomach that feels like a combination of constipation and indigestion, but is neither, just chemo’s contents settling to the bottom and I’m the vessel that shakes and stirs it, and as it goes after chemo I fight it diluting me, trying to regain my balance and substance, which translates into presence.’

I put on my wetsuit and gloves and boots. The chemo I have makes my body ache in coldness. I know it might hurt.

I start sobbing, thinking of how hard I have struggled through cancer before, and have to wrestling through this, and tying to slip out of pain’s calloused fingers and I girt my teeth as I grab my board and I’m overcome by a blast that disorients me and I try to hold on and I say, “This has to count for something. This has to count for something.”

I look down to the bottom of the stairs. The tide is just splashing over rocks below the eroded steps. My legs are weak my feet are unsteady. I don’t want to fall or break my ankle before I get in the goddamn water.
And there are waves, peppered and badly season by atrocious surfers on foam boards.
But there ware waves.
I walk father down along the road and slowly work my feet down a hill with a hollowed out gully and rocks to a sandy cove. I struggle to maintain and starting sobbing with gratitude and confusion. How many times have I come down here, and now I’m struggling to do what I’ve always done. And now I’m afraid I’ll fall. But I can’t let cancer, I can’t let cancer make me play anything safe. I growl and cry to myself, fighting feeling sorry for myself, trying to just go for the contact and I gurr, “You are not feeling sorry for yourself, This has to count for something. You are not feeling sorry for yourself. This has to count for something.”

And I paddle out in the water, gasping, angry, sobbing, snarling, moving my arms forward to get through the waves out to the break and hoping no one sees my tears and I say over and over again as I dig deeper and pull my arms through, awkwardly coasting and saying again and again, “You hear me! This has to count for something.” I growl. I’m furious. “This has to count for something.”
And there are the idiots in the water, crawling upo on foam boards. Three women who are yakking to eacvh other, and intentionally burning others. The dump unattractive one in the water (as if there’s any other kind, I think. Hey, I know it’s unfair. But I’m angry, these people are taking up space and ruining the place. Fred, I think, stay within yourself, you want to just surf.

A couple times I go for a wave, Madame Dumpster sees me going and intentionally paddles in front of me on the inside. Normally, I would go for it, but I don’t feel in control of myself, and unlike these morons I’m not willing to take off on a wave if I’m unsure of myself—they’re never unsure because they think they deserve everything they can take from other people.

Strill the anger, I’m tired of people cutting in front of me, I’m tired of them.
I try to settle, All my thoughts are vicious. This is no good, I think, this is no good. Where is all this coming from.
I know.

But it’s not a thought. It’s alive. And it’s cancer trying to cut me off.
I resign myself to paddle just to get stronger, and a burble to myself, crying and voice cracking and snarling and gaping, ”They’re going to cut me open, they’re going to cut me open, I have to get strong. I have to get stronger. I have to.”

There’s a current. No surprise. I’ve been paddling against o0ne and trying to stay in position all week. And I dig in to the water to get stronger and say again and again, “This has to count for something, this has to count for something.”

Some people need a mantra to take them away from this world—well I don’t want to go anywhere but here. I don’t want to end up an organ donor on the operation table cutting board as an all-you-can-eat-buffet. “This has to count for something, “ says, hoping to soak out cancer and get deeper into everything that’s around me. These waves, these waves. Away from the clueless people., These waves. This stoke of me, this stoke, People can call it ego, but you know what, they can go fuck themselves, My mantra is to stay within this world.

I want to stay. This world is not done with me. I’m not done with this world.

That has to count for something


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