Yesterday was brutal.
It was my ‘Good Friday’,
my ‘Garden of Gethsemane’.
I thought of Jesus
up there on the cross
and upbraided myself for even
thinking of the comparison.
But my time on the throne
took some beating.
It was my ‘Calvary.’
They warned you about this,
that chemo does play havoc
with the excretory system
but this was brutal
It was right that it happened on Good Friday.
the day of suffering.
I’m going to lounge around like the old ginger cat
the rest of the afternoon,
‘Indolent’ is not a bad descriptor
for the disease.
makes it sound almost amiable. good natured,
like a lazy, but lovable work-shy relation.
Other cancers are hares.
This is a tortoise.
In the afternoon it takes nana naps like me.
He’s just heard the news. He slumps, decides to act breezily.
“I am getting a half -Van Gogh,” he says over the phone.
“A half -Van Gogh? What is that?”
“You know how Van Gogh lopped off his left ear after a fit of madness, or so it’s claimed?”
“Well, I’m getting half my left ear, the lobe lopped off.”
“Why? Why would you do that?”
“You said you would love me even if I had half my face missing.”
“I know but …”
*photo by Jean Carlo Emer from Pinterest
I go down the shop to buy a packet of cigs for a friend. I tell the cashier the brand.
What colour? she says. Blue, gold or red?
I dunno, I say. The one with Bryan on the packet.
The poster boy of lung cancer. On the rack of his deathbed. Skin sick as pus, emaciated, eyes wild, pleading.
Sounds terrible, she says.
It is. Cancer porn. Spookier than anything you’ll see on Halloween.
I know my mother wouldn’t have approved
but my bus was late
I was idle
and this bloke on a bike
“to give his bum a rest”,
a privilege he did not extend
to his mouth.
I learnt about his five year bouts
with ‘the Mike Tyson of cancers’,
& this pugnacity encompassed drug pushers,
wife beaters, power utility scammers.
He wore black like Johnny Cash,
had two brassy skeleton rings
& he strutted around like a rooster.
Still he kept me amused till the bus
came along and took me away.
I waved as he sparred with the bus shelter.