Once, long ago, when I was a small boy, a friend of mine and I were at a carnival and bought tickets for the Tilt-A-Whirl, being a little too meek for the Hammerhead but far too daring for the Ferris Wheel. As enjoyable as the Tilt-A-Whirl had looked from our vantage point on the ground, when we got on the ride, my friend and I were terrified. Purely as a defense mechanism, we shriveled ourselves into as small of passengers as possible, awaiting the end of the interminable ride. Much to our astonishment, when the ride finally ended, the man who operated the Tilt-A-Whirl, had the unmitigated gall to yell at us for “sneaking an extra ride.”
Why was the Tilt-A-Whirl so scary? I think it was because we were expecting one thing, and got something different. I inherited this characteristic from my mother, this notion of having some sort of clear idea of what my expectations must always be. If there is a mismatch, then it rocks my world. So this particular ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl turned into a nightmare, complete with indignant ride operator.
Now I am back on a metaphorical Tilt-A-Whirl. I am shriveled up on the inside, and compressed against the back of the ride, certainly at my darkest hour, just waiting for the operator to finally let up on the gear shift, so that we can glide to a halt, and get the hell off. Only there is no getting off this ride called life, not legitimately, anyway.
My intent in writing anything, is always to spotlight what is going on in my head, and not to put the focus on others. Any of you who have read anything at this site, know that I have ongoing, never-varying instructions about what I may not write about, and that is anything that violates others’ privacy. I respect this edict with all of my power.
Sixteen days have passed since we learned of the presence of the tumor on Annie’s kidney. All we can do is wait until the Sixth of September arrives. At least then, we will learn some new information and hopefully schedule the surgical procedure, that will begin the healing process.
Meanwhile, we are in a holding pattern. We are not up in an airplane, holding, nor are we on a phone, holding. We are in life, holding, because it takes time to arrange these kinds of logistics, cutting people open, to remove unwanted baggage. One likes to have the best possible person doing the job, and there has been such a person recommended.
However, he is not available just yet, so we are holding. How am I holding up? Holding up implies I was up in the first place. I meant to be... I promised I would be... I tried to be...I even was for the first two or three days, in an invisible and shadowy way. But nothing happened, and any facade that might have suggested that I was keeping it together, collapsed with nary a hiss.
I wept a lot. You know, not the dramatic sobs of the man who has been jilted from his lover, just the muted type of sobs, that you hear from a man, who fears that he is going to lose the one centering thing in his life for the past thirty-one years. Those are the kind of sobs that seem to appear while sitting out under the pippin tree, hidden within the branches, no one there to see or hear anything amiss.
My gut tells me Annie has lived the healthiest lifestyle of anyone I know, and that she is going to take advantage of modern technology and beat this illness. She has her three strong sons, and I know that I am going to help in any way that I can. I also know that I will not be at the front of the charge, because I cannot be. But lots of smaller jobs need to be done that get less glamour, and right now that’s probably better for me anyway. No one notices someone sobbing while cleaning a toilet, or if she does, she just nods her head, and thanks her lucky stars it’s not her cleaning the bathroom this time.