Monday, June 11, 2007


standing naked in the shower, i once again let my fingers run over my skin, hoping not to find any new growths of this yet unnamed disease.

the shower has always been a place of contemplation, where new and novel ideas take form, where new ways of saying old truths are devised. but lately, it has become a place for dark revelations.

it started late one summer evening when my soapy hand stumbled across a lump on the nape of my neck. two days later, i found another one behind both ears. and then near the clavicle, and then at the crotch.

a few weeks ago i decided to stop checking for new growths. it's not that i was afraid, i just had better things to think about. like a death in the family, for example.

yes, the family. the family that is always on its toes every time something bad happens to one of its own. the family from whom i inherited a slice of recklessness topped with a generous dash of moodiness and eccentricity. not to mention susceptibilities to heart disease, various lung ailments, kidney infection, high blood pressure, diabetes, and oh yes, cancer.

my grandfather was recently operated to remove a malignant mass in his gut, and has since refused chemotherapy. my grandmother's brother, the one who just died, refused the doctor's advice to come back and examine the fleshy growth in his bowels. he had heart disease and diabetes; something that the family never knew until a few days before his death.

as much as i do not like him, i am still my grandfather's own. between ourselves, we have a lot in common than we would dare to admit. that includes a short temper and an annoying inability to bend with the breeze.

so i got out of the shower, put on some nice clothes and spend the night with friends. i have already accepted that this life will be a short one, with or without this inherited disdain for doctors.

i also got one more thing; i carry, and carry well, a backpack full of secrets, the contents some of which are my own.