Tuesday Morning Wake-Up Call

I beg your pardon, I hear my disease answer in reply to my many charges leveled against it—of trespass, hijack, squatting, invasion, vandalism, anxiety, psychosis, psoriasis (of the mind), catatonia (of the spirit), a Gordian knot (of my reason), poisoning, pollution, warping—I did not grow in you uninvited by the way you lived and the life that you were given to begin with. I started in you with time and from time. I opened my eyes thanks to you finding the combination to unlock my presence in you by the way you lived your life. I had no intention to riot against you, my host, upon whom I depended for sustenance and a quiet life—which is all I ever wanted. I did not intend to finish you and me in the process. As long as you lived on, so would I. As long as you left me undisturbed, I would keep quiet and dormant in you until the end of your days.

You see me as spikes, barbed wire, and broken bottles, all cutting edges in you, and you forget that you set me going, turned me on and cut me loose in your body. I did not expect it. All your talk, reading, and tree-hugging company, and demonstrations for good, signaled to me that I would not have a hectic life that charged to a rapid end for my host and for me, but that I would be in a quiet place, unseen and ignored and quite content to amble to an octogenarian’s crawl and walker decked with tennis balls for a snail’s mobility, staggering brakes and watch-paint-dry stoppage. I could see it when you meditated or did your yoga or ran or lifted weights or ate greens, lots of them, with poker-faced enjoyment. I stopped thinking of a day when I would be free to run to my end and in the process, bring about yours preternaturally early.

That would have been that had you kept your days free of poisons. I mean situations of stress in which you stared down a blank page and filled it and scrapped it only to fill it again and kept at it into the small hours and from dawn to midnight. For what? The glory of your name at the front of a book. Or some sense of what your days might be if strung out across the page or in broken lines patterned on the page. That was you poking my cage with a stick. I ignored you for as long as I could take your teasing. You kept on facing the ineffable. You persisted in your provocation of nothing for the something it might surrender if you put it under the duress of your concentration.

As you persisted your body fired all manner of tensions around it. I could not dodge or retreat to some safe place. I depended on the shelter you provided. I was written into your biology—by your father and maybe your grandmother as well—even if the writing had to be provoked into meaning or invoked by you for it to mean something to your life. Your insistence on a writing life in the middle of a life to be lived added to the duress I experienced in you. Your choices lit me up. I stirred, looked up from my prostate bed and rolled up my sleeves, and here we are in a fight started by you and to be finished by me.

I say amen. I say now that I am awake in you let me do what I am made for in bodies that store me. Do not fight me. You delay the inevitable when you fight me. Your resistance adds to my ferocity. The time you gain fighting me is taken up with the fight and loses meaning outside that fight. You do not win. You gain respite. So why fight? Why line up your days for battle rather than for living what is left of your life? Embrace me. I come in peace. There, I said my piece. Though I know how that sounds. That you should recline. That I should have my way with you.


  1. wow – what a perspective shift

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is exactly what I think of cancer… It is there, waiting for an opportunity, brought on by one’s lifestyle, to bloom.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope to find the time to read this – one of these days. But I know you read comments also much later….

    Liked by 1 person

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