chapter 20: seven

a week.  seven days.  that was the length of time between my time at UCLA and my visit back to dr. g at USC.

a week is a long time.  to think.  to notice things.  to consider possibilities.

my impending surgery was a metaphor:  it would last maybe a few hours, but its impact–good or bad–would last a lifetime.  and so it is with many things.

i was upset about the tumor.  but i was also bothered by something else:  certain people had let me down.  at a really bad time.  i had to accept that in many ways, i was on my own.

i worked a couple of days.  and i tried to stay off the pain medicine.  but even though my headache was extremely mild, a great pain would strike periodically, lasting only a second or so.  one evening, it leveled me like an earthquake.  it was startling.  and disturbing.  i sat down immediately.  and took two pills.

as for those little white miracles:  one thing i discovered about oxycontin, was that it made me feel love in ways that struck me as not quite natural.  at one point, i found myself filled with joy over the dimmer switch on my chandelier.  i looked at the dim bulbs, and around at my curtains and television, and i was beyond thankful.  i was elated.  i was amorous.  i was in love.  i was, in a word, high.  i couldn’t help but recognize the fact that, while my passion for circuits and drapes felt natural, it seemed a little much.  but unlike the dimmer switch, for me, better up than down.

dr. g.’s people had decided that i didn’t have an aneurysm.  dr. b. leaned that way, too, but this wasn’t an exact science.  this was a guessing game, informed by what they’d seen before.  they really couldn’t be sure.  about anything.  not until they operated.  and when would that be happening?  when SHOULD it happen?  it was a whirlwind of ambiguity, spinning around me.  and all limited by the status quo.  confined by the average.  my future was hinging on ten guesses.  all based on what was “usual.”  but what if i was different?  different:  i thought a lot about that…

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