I want to start this one off by typing The truth of the matter is…. But that’s not true. The truth of the matter is I’m juggling two truths right now.
I may be better off typing The truths of the matter are….
Maybe that’s why I have such a headache right now as I type this. Or maybe I’m getting sick, which might be bad, real bad, inasmuch as my being sick could well play havoc with all the best laid plans to clobber My Olive Pit™ — the tooth that’s supposed to be pulled tomorrow at nine, the surgery to install my drug port and my feeding tube Tuesday morning, the radiation therapy that’s slated to begin Thursday morning.
We all want to get going on this. My doctors. My friends and family. The Loved One. Me.
Two truths. Maybe I don’t want to get going on this. Maybe I’m about as afraid as I’ve ever been in my life. Maybe I’d be happier if I could just stay here, indefinitely, in this state of preparing.
That’s all I’ve been doing for a couple of months, preparing. Now the tough part begins. And I’ll be goddamned if I don’t want it to. Maybe I should call Drs. Wu (radiation oncologist) and Allerton (medical oncologist) and ask if maybe — just maybe — we can delay this rigmarole for a few weeks. Months, even.
How about this? Can’t we just wait until I’m 87 years old, frail, my teeth falling out like so many pieces of that sickening sweet Halloween Indian corn, my friends all dead or dying, Steve the Dog long gone, Donald Trump’s now-18-year-long dictatorship finally being chipped away at by a new, younger generation of street revolutionaries?
By that time, I can say to Wu and Allerton, Aw, let’s forget the whole thing. I’m on the way out anyhow.
Of course, My Olive Pit™ by that time may well have grown to the size of…, oh, let’s see…, a baseball. Better, a cantaloupe.
Then again, by that time I’d be long gone. At least that’s what they tell me. Flashback to the exchange between me and the ENT guy who first went looking for cancer in me:
Me: So, is this gonna kill me?
Dr. Pugh: It will if you don’t do anything about it.
Not much room for argument there. It’s hard to argue against the truth. One truth.
Okay, the truth of the matter is I have to do this.
A-a-and, the truth of the matter is I don’t want to do this. Oh, my aching head.