I haven’t added a blog post for a while. I’ve started a few, and decided against them. I’ve had my head down I guess, writing my book. I have a deadline now, and that’s good. Anyway, I thought, for now, I’d post a little piece from what I’m working on.
From Chapter 18: The Head Game
…This is tough, that’s all. Not only the treatment process. It’s the head-game that really gets you. If I let myself think about it too much, some things just seemed so absurd. Everything around me seemed useless – futile and stupid. Deep inside my head, I was so selfish. I would look around at people, just sitting there in the restaurant, just shopping in the grocery store, and I’d think they were so stupid, just stupidly going through the motions of another stupid day. And I’d think I was the stupidest of them all, because I had this insight, this brand new bright realization that life was short and unpredictable and you better do something with it before it’s too late. Here I was with this great insider understanding, and yet – unbelievably – I was just grinding out my own stupid routine: going to work at a job I didn’t particularly care about, chatting inanely, wasting my precious time making sure my toothbrush goes into the fucking toothbrush holder, instead of running off to Italy and jumping in a fountain, or burning my house to the ground just because I couldn’t deal with thinking about anyone having to go through my useless pile of possessions after I am dead.
Everyone’s had that conversation somewhere, sometime. The one where you ask each other, what would you do if you knew you only had a week to live. What would you do? What would I do? I don’t know. I hope it would be something real, something important. But, I don’t know. Maybe I’d just get through the goddamn week and hope that it wasn’t true I’d be dying at the end of it. Maybe I’d just cling to the routine of my life and make sure I left a clean house behind.
I think I was disappointed that when the chips actually fall, the real thing you do is just hunker down and get the hell through it. I didn’t have any serious indication that I should be preparing to die, so I suppose that allowed me to keep things small. But it was there: the possibility, and that possibility really plays with your mind.