I’m at home with a super gross kidney infection. Of course, my mind goes to very dark places when it feels like my body is breaking down. For some reason, I drew a parallel between my health and my recently deceased washing machine. First, the drum went, and we paid $300 to get it fixed, then something went wrong with the motor and then and then. My husband regretted wasting all that money on repairs, “When one thing breaks, it’s a sign that the whole machine is in decline. We should have just bought a new one.”
“Just like me,” I sobbed into my pillow.
Then I went to my doctor and he rolled his eyes when I tried to discuss my theory. But then he already thinks I’m crazy.
All of this comes at a time when so many friends and acquaintances are getting cancer. So I feel like a total asshole for complaining about a little kidney infection. Especially since every single one of them is handling their situations with such grace.
“I have breast cancer,” my friend wrote in an email update to all her friends. “But it’s only a small lump. We caught it early and expect an excellent outcome.”
I cried because my heart was so full of admiration and awe. There’s no way I’d never have that sort of fortitude.
Another friend recently had one of his balls removed after getting testicular cancer. Once he recovered, he rewarded himself with an expensive, gorgeous pair of shoes. He immediately cozied up to the sales clerk because he is a giant flirt. That night, he called me all excited, his mind brimming with possibility.
“I told him I had cancer and he gave me twenty-five percent off!”
He’s planning to use this tactic again. I wondered aloud if using his illness for such purposes was just tempting fate. He shrugged me off. “There’s a gift in everything, no matter how crappy. I just found it.”
Again, I was overcome. I’d love to have the balls (no pun intended) to see the world in such a way. But no one gives discounts for generalized anxiety, unfortunately.
Like my other friend who had a breast removed not long ago and is now in remission. We went to a concert last weekend. We were balancing little plastic glasses of red wine while squeezing our way along the tiny aisle to our seats. As we sat, my friend spilled some of her wine down the neck of the guy sitting in front of us. He jumped up and started yelling.
“I’m so sorry,” said my friend. “But I have cancer.”
He immediately apologized and sat back down, dabbing his neck with a tissue. While my friend disguised her laughter by burying her face in her coat.
I was shocked, but I also wish I could approach all the shitty things in my life with that sort of fucked up humour…
A middle-aged woman with a burning vagina walks into a bar ….
Give me time. I’ll get it.