Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Strange Magic

Heavily, her steps grinded on the black pavement beneath her feet. She hurried along at night on a strange sidewalk of a busy city as bright headlights blinded the path. She was approximately twenty seconds away from the fight that occurred inside the parked car in a crowded lot. The frustration of finding a place to park after a long, strenuous day of doctor appointments and waiting had gotten to the both of them. They desperately wanted to retreat to their tiny apartment outside the city, far away from the chaos of buzzing life. There, they could be alone. Quiet. There, they could hide in the secret little life they had created together. Time moved slower in that apartment and they yearned to be back there. However, an obligation had led to their attendance of a hip event hosted by two dear friends. Young friends, their age, but without the worries of cancer that had shrouded our young couple for more than a year and was now a part of their life. They wanted to go inside and feel like normal twenty somethings, drink a beer or too, laugh frivolously, talk too seriously about their current creative endeavors, pretend to know more than they actually did about life, love, politics, art. But at this point, they knew more than they wanted to know about life and the shit that comes with it. That immature feeling was an impossibility.

Her steps pounded on the wet concrete and a light drizzle of raindrops began to fall. She could now see the street corner. Moments ago, he had admitted something so heartbreaking to her she could barely stand the thought. "I don't want to be me anymore." he said. Her response?  Speechless. Silence. She knew what he meant. He didn't want cancer lurking inside his body. She was sure the thought of being someone else was liberating, but the thought of him not being himself tore her open. In truth, it was her greatest fear. She needed him, like oxygen. But feeling the exhaustion and annoyances of the day, she could not admit this fact. She just looked at him and gave an pathetic whimper. He got out of the car and walked toward the theatre. With the slam of the door, her eyes followed him until he was gone.

She didn't cross the street to follow him. She remained on her side and for a long distance, they walked in step. Torn apart, but still in sync, remaining the same. Traffic raced by and she thought of running into it to get to him. But did he want her? She turned and walked on with red lipstick, meant to conceal her nakedness, bleeding down her mouth and torn stockings unraveling with each step. As she approached the corner, she turned back and looked across the street again. He was gone. Vanished. She thought about the night they met and the dirty streets of Savannah they walked into the morning hours filled with the presence of young love. Now, with time and the messiness of life interfering between them, she was alone and afraid. What if they had remained strangers?

She turned and carried on her slow march to the corner. Perhaps she'd just keep walking into the night. A car slowed down next to her and blasted Electric Light Orchestra's "Strange Magic."

You're sailing softly through the sun
in a broken stone age dawn.
You fly so high.

I get a strange magic,
oh, what a strange magic,

Once again she looked back, but this time he had appeared. Once again, he was waiting for her across the street. His shoulders were not crumpled low and deep into his chest. He stood there, proud and confident, cancer and all. His head was up and his arms were slightly open toward her. She departed her path to the street crossing and weaved in between honking cars and bicycles to reach him on the other side. In a flash, the foreign universe that was treating her without compassion had turned it's cruel eye and welcomed her once again with an optimistic hopefulness. Even the disheveled homeless man on the corner flashed her a friendly smile and waved to her, shouting something in her direction that she couldn't quite understand. When she greeted her love, they both realized he was asking if either one of them had a cigarette. Really? A cigarette? Although she wanted to gesture a profanity and write this off as another ironic, cruel joke made by the universe, she turned to her love and they both burst into laughter. 

You're walking meadows in my mind,
making waves across my time,
oh no, oh no.

I get a strange magic,
oh, what a strange magic,

Hand in hand, they reached the theatre. Underneath the burning lights of the marquee, he pulled her in close to him, gently wiped the smudge of mascara, and smiled with his eyes. She knew that no matter what happened to them in the future, they were never meant to be strangers, and she leaned in to his hard, deep kiss, allowing herself for one moment to float above the ground. 


Yesterday was a stressful appointment where we received results from Jon's latest CT scan. The wait was excruciating and painful, as always. My heart throbbed and Jon became very insular. I'm struggling with my beliefs in life, death, and God, but I swear to you, I felt angels in that room with us. Maybe I'm just becoming delusional and desperate, but I saw Jon's grandparents holding him as he sat on the exam table. One on each side, draped over him with their heads on his shoulders. Smiling assuringly to me and comforting him in a way I could not reach out and do. Our doctor is very kind. He told us that the scan was "relatively stable" and he was optimistic about the results. He said there is nothing to be done right now, but we are watching a few spots that have slightly grown. This could indicate resistance to the current medication and in the new year, we may be looking at switching treatments. Although, we would love to keep on this track, we knew this time would come eventually and we are pleased with the current options available to us. Our doctor is consulting with his colleagues across the nation about available clinical trials in preparation for when that time comes. The transition will obviously be a strain on us financially and could conflict with my going back to school, but we are game for changes and will keep fighting hard and living harder. I am thankful to God and current medical advancements because there are options with the possibility of more and better options in the not so distant future. For now, we are casting our worries away and leaning in to each other as we celebrate this special time of year with gratitude.

Oh, I'm never gonna be the same again,
now I've seen the way it's got to end,
sweet dream, sweet dream.

Strange magic,
oh, what a strange magic,
oh, it's a strange magic.
Got a strange magic,
got a strange magic.

It's magic, it's magic, it's magic.


No comments:

Post a Comment