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Walking through the door to the dawn that has no time for darkness

September 8, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

backsurfing2

 

Okay, after surgery for cancer of the esophagus, I’m down to 195 from 217 and with marks on my abdomen that look like someone skated on me.

I had a life today.

Yes, amid having to take several pills, deal with bouts of indigestion with my new food tube’s ability and capacity to handle my intake, the weariness that made me stare off and not listen to music or watch a movie or TV—stunted in the moment and trying to heal and marinate in the anxiety of each second. The semi-routine, and arduous grind, downing protein drinks that went like paint, bored by chocolate drinks, and then all these things pared away…

“I’m going to go surfing tomorrow,” I said.

And so for the first time since July 8, I put my board on the car and headed down to my spot, Already there were tons of people carrying those 99-dollar boards, and assorted ding dongs who knew the surf spots by going on line and wouldn’t exist unless they were looking and talking to each other. They will take their turn and leave—they are here to get what they want: no roots, no friends, no connection to the community besides their favorite restaurants and bars.

I ignored them—they were darkness. I wanted to live in the light of the day,

I have roots in this sand and salt water and point break. I had commitments. I had learned how to stand-up on the stage and on my board. I acquired tons of friends who rescued and supported me. And I fought loyally for them and for I believed was funny and made life living here. The love I had has been returned and is bigger than me, and unexpectantly comes to me. But I have it, amid being broke, laid off, fired, demoted, but I never gave up, and as I walk into the day to the ocean it’s like I passed through an obstacle course and walked through an open door into a world I shaped and thankfully shaped me.

Now my roots were feeding me by having to struggle deeper so I could reach higher towards the sun.

An extra strength was suddenly stoking into me, fighting to live is different than living your life, and I hadn’t really been doing that. I accepted the healing. But now, like I told my doctor’s, “You take the tubes and needles out and the rest is up to me.”

And the rush came into me with the California sky and the smell of salt water and seeing two of my surf buddies Hal Stanger, a retired Lockheed guy, and John Stone, a fireman, stand-up guy, great surfer and friend. “I saw this tall guy in a baseball hat and I thought who is that guy. I didn’t recognize you because you lost the weight so now you loo taller!” said John. Those guys helped me carry my board down to the ocean and back to my car. I couldn’t do it.

A lot of my personality was buried by the treatment, and now I was basking in it.

When I stepped into the water, a small wave crashed around my ankles, and I started crying, and paddled out. My arms were stronger than I expected. But my legs were heavy—some neuropathy from the feet had risen to my ankles (One of those “side effects” from chem. And surgery). All I could do was try to overcome it. But I was thinking about catching a wave, I needed to paddle, to regain my strength, and so I stroked and figured if I got a wave fine.

But I was out here. I had made it back!

“Cancer you did not take me,” I whispered, growing stronger with each paddle. “You did not take me.”

And so another force rushed and swirled inside me and pumped me with an energy that I hadn’t felt—I was being rewarded, this was the life I was fighting for, and it was coming out full force to embrace me and stir up my mind, and I knew I was going to take this and translate a better stage performance. It was that raw nectar of you, and when you get a taste of it, the world can never bitch slap you hard enough to drink anything else. All the struggling, like working out a in a gym and having that sudden extra strength, gave me an extra edge, this was the energy I fought to return to, and it was jumping all over every nerve in my body, like I dog you love that excited to see you after a long absence.

Victory by any other name would be a kiss-ass!

Yeah, I dig my arms in the water. Yeah, I paddled for a wave and kooked out. Yeah, I struggled to crawl back on my board. And yeah, and yeah, more of all of it under the California sun. I’ll get there. Back to the land of fighting the right for the the light against the darkness!
What will the new tomorrow I earned the hard way bring?

A new discovery…

I can hardly wait, ready to tighten my fists against cancer and the chemo I’m scheduled to endure, and staring at a blank page to write a joke or a surprise to me. But I’m charging it, laughing.

After all the struggle, the pain, I crawled out of the avalanche, and I was alive—alive today.

And whatever tries to tell me otherwise isn’t going to be in my way for long. I go to the land of my heroes. For, like the dawn, I have no time for the darkness.

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