When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hi Everybody!

I have a few thoughts to share as of late.

Currently I'm posting from one of my day job sites in centralish Jersey. This is the place where one of my co-workers (in my department) has brain cancer. My boss (also her boss) always has me coming down here to gauge how much more her job performance may have slipped from the week before. No one wants to confront her about a medical retirement, but everyone feels she isn't who she used to be.

Before I started my meds, being with this woman at this site used to really drive a stake into my heart. She has what my mother had. And this woman will die like my mother did. She knows it. Not about my mother, but about her own mortality. She stays upbeat here at the job, informing me about clients and reporting about their psych appoinments with a big smile and many department in-jokes (read: shop talk). And all the while she's counting down the seconds of her life. Amazing. She has college-age daughters and a husband, and I can't see their reactions to her illness through her eyes because she keeps the atmosphere so cordial and light. So I can only imagine. And then I try not to. And I thank God for my meds, because now I can blog about this and not want to go home and sleep the rest of the day away.

In other news, one of my geek buddies via internet was bemoaning the fact that a woman he was courting recently rejected his overtures for going to the next level. His words, and not mine, was that his downfall was that he was too nice, and he was sick of women who kept proferring the bad boy over the good guy. On Independence Day (how ironic) I replied in this manner;

Your story has been my story ALL. MY. LIFE. :checks watch: Yep. All my life. In Jr. High and High school, I got in with a group of girls because I was madly in love with one of them, but lacked the guts to approach her, and then one of her friends (also a friend of mine) invited me to sit at their table at lunch one day, and I never left. I also STILL never could say out loud, "DeeDee, will you go out with me". So school year after school year, I'd watch her go out with bad boy after bad boy.

This was my own failing...but I don't blame myself. I had a lot of things going against me when I was young. And I do mean textbook, jacked-up, needed child-intervention authority services things. So I couldn't have acted any other way, and I didn't. So I missed out.

And today, I still lack the bad boy gene. I'm Harmless. Mostly. I don't even drink. And I'm wayyy alone.

But you know what I decided a little bit ago?

EFF 'em. That's what I decided.

There are always going to be differences in the world. There are going to be dream marriages like and 's and there are going to be singletons like me. That's just the way it is.

So I decided to enjoy my singleness. I went to HeroesCon and guess what? I'm going to the SanDiegoCon at the end of the month. I don't need to arrange babysitters or ask permission to spend the budget. I don't need to buy more than one ticket on the plane. And if I meet somebody I like to hang out with, I don't need to worry about anyone else having fun but me.

Now, I know there are benefits to coupledom. I've seen enough representation. And I admire everyone who has been badass enough in their lives to get a mate, and get that freak ON (even you --you know it's possible--you've been married) but I just can't drive myself crazy wondering how the other half (okay, how the other 9999/10000ths) live. If I did that, I might as well lose sleep as well over what it'd be like to be White in America, or to be tall, or to have living parents who actually loved each other and me, or what it'd be like to live closer to you guys where we could all be playing D&D on the weekends, or have cookouts and dog-sit each others pugs, or a million other variables that I will never experience.

But I am what I am, and I got what I got.

So EFF 'em. I refuse to be unhappy. REFUSE! I've got just this one life, and by all standards of chronology, it is nearly half over. I'm not spending the rest of it wrapped up in the sh!tty kind of misery that the first half was in. Not doing it.

So I got me prescribed some meds that hacked the edges off my life and I'm now soaking up the sun, baby. Eff the universe if it can't take a joke. I got comics to read, cake with buttercream icing to eat, friends to chat with, places to go, things to see. Ladies, you don't want to get with me? You'd rather somebody pull your hair and call you a bitch to your face? Knock you up with a kid neither of you can afford, and join the harem of Baby Mama Drama? You're welcome to it. Me, I'd rather sleep soundly at night and wake up in the morning with hope instead of dread.

Because as it stands right now, there's a future ahead of me. Anything can happen. Still. But I'm tired of waiting for it. I want to be happy NOW.

So, to reiterate -- EFF it. Eff it with a double-thick condom and spermicide lathered on the outside. Eff it with no-skid combat boots on. Eff it sideways, swinging from a hammock, in a soundproof room with the neighborhood's known screamer squirming underneath.

EFF it.

This is my new motto, and you are heartily invited to use it too;

"Happiness... Now."

And I meant it. Still do. And it's working.

And when I look at my co-worker, who is dying right before my eyes, and I see that see refuses to sit home and waste away, or pine about how her family will struggle without her, or any number of depressed things she could do before she shuffles her coil off, I know that I have no excuse.

Life, here I come.

Happiness. NOW.


fringes said...

Excellent post. Every single word of it. You are on the path to your own amazement.

GrizzBabe said...

I second fringes' sentiment. I have one thing to add: pulling of the hair. . .in the right circumstances. . .can be kind of nice. ;)

A Shade Of Scorpio said...

Holy Eff-ing Cow man. Shhheeeee-ite. The segueway is good. I'm not sure if my spelling might be...but still. I'm scared reading about your co-worker. And at the same time, I'm excited for you with your fun, your sporadic jagged energy, your subtle excitment and Awesome Normal Life along with the scenery you've yet to see. Fabulous.

Tera said...

Re: Your co-worker...that amazes me that she is able to hold it together like that and she is truly to be commended. This hits close to home for me because of the friend and family members I have lost to cancer...and the friend I am trying to be there for as she currently battles it. It appears she deems life and all it's happenings much more important than concentrating on death...this is awesome.

SolarisGal said...

This is a beautiful post, Alan. It's very sad to work with someone who is dying. I had that experience before - the woman used to be hard to work with, but when she was diagnosed with cancer, she became very friendly.

If I were your co worker's boss, I'd be as supportive as I possibly can be. Sounds like your coworker just wants to live her life as routinely as possible without having to recall that she's dying - as she probably would without work to distract her.

I can't comment on the "lets have fun" outlook, I'm not up to that level. ;)

Scott said...

Bingo. You have discovered the path to happiness. You're going to be fine.

It's funny but I too had that same reaction in college to all the guys that got the girls by being assholes. I watched in amazement as my buddy would tell a woman that he couldn't have anything more to do with them because he was saving himself for another. The girl would come to me and say, "I have to have him."

Arggghhhhh. And there was me, willing and available, and totally unwanted, too easy, affable, too agreeable.

So I became an asshole. And it worked. But it wasn't me. So back and forth between nice and mean until I settled on neutral, and that seemed to be my place.

Alan said...

Thank you Fringes.

Grizz, you NASTY. :-D

Dawn, it is what it is. If I had my druthers, I'd ruther never know another person who is battling cancer. But apparently, it can't be avoided. Something's wrong with Mother Earth and just every and anybody seems susceptible to it. Rich, poor, popular or not so much. Even though it doesn't give me the PTSD that it used to, my co-worker's condition does generate enough angst in my to have to blog it out. Everybody thinking positive energy her way is not a bad idea. :-)
And thanks for the color. "subtle excitement" I like that!

Tera, sometimes I wonder if the dying doesn't get a special dispensation of grace that makes them able to live positively. If they aren't getting some kind of subconscious glimpse into another life that enables them to peacefully tell this one goodbye.

Sol, yeah, my boss is pumping as much support into this site as he can. That's why I'll be here twice a week now instead of once. Everyone seems to want to support her, but they're also complaining about the work dropping off. I dunno--people are strange.

lol, Scott! I just like the idea of you with a trail of sexually slain women in your wake! rraRG!!!

A Shade Of Scorpio said...

So I have to leave you this because you like those fuzzy people that talk in Meow.


Muh honey sent me that link. It's a CAT CAM!!!!! You don't actually get to see the cat walking around but the guy posts photos from the cat's journey....

Coaster Punchman said...

Stopping in to say 'hi' before my computer battery runs out. (Too lazy to get the power cord...) I will leave a profound comment when I get plugged back in!