Thursday, February 23, 2017

In Times of Uncertainty, Many Reach for the Heavens: Hello There Trappist-1

I wake up and check my phone for news of what may have happened over night. Bad news, worse news, meh news. I used to not be like this B.E. (Before the Election). Which might be the problem. All of this, my fault. But there are 7 new planets now, so there is that. 7 new planets to put us in our place. We are small. This is all so small. I am very, very small. It will all be ok, or it won’t, or it doesn’t matter. We are to take heart from that, the not matteringness of us all. Don’t know about you, but I feel better already.

Still, I trip out that my mom never knew about the 7 new planets. Isn’t that strange? That she never got to know that all this time there were 7 Earth-sized planets orbiting a tiny star not too far away? 235 trillion miles, but also–that Trump is our President? WTF, mom? Also, I may or may not have MS, the wishy washiness of it as incomprehensible as 40 light-years and the fact that she is gone, that she does not know that I now take my Earl Gray tea with milk.

I am pretty sure I have written this post before. Dead mom? Check. MS? Check. Jokey joke emo suburban mom here. You guys, I swear I am happy and super fun to hang out with at parties. (Ok, maybe not super fun at parties, but I am happy.)

Cocktail party question right here: I’ve been you think it’s better to live your life as if you might die tomorrow, or to live your life as if you are going to live forever? Don’t worry–I still watch Vanderpump Rules and spend too much time online shopping for a serum that will make me look 30 again, but yeah, I do wonder. This MS thing. I say it as if it’s a pesky problem, a hangnail, an errand I have to run before I get home. Do I have it? Do I not? If this were a first kiss, the anticipation would be thick with delicious, but it’s not. It’s the possibility of terrible, the anticipation thick with oh, fuck.

It’s fine. No, really, I am good. Great! It has been 2 years now since I had the hematopoietic stem cell transplant, and I am stable. Stable! But still, either due to my brooding Welsh genes or the mere facts of what the fuck--or both--I can’t help but 10 years? In 5? What about when Zoey graduates from high school? Will I be in a wheelchair when Ozzy is a freshman? Or never? Pray for never. You know, that kind of thing. Creeping Paralysis. That’s what they called it before it was given a scientific name, and that’s how I think of it in my head. Insidious and slow. Will I know? Do you?

Sometimes I feel like a lying liar face because I think about it All. The. Time.

Other times I feel like I am lucky because I think about it all the time. How fucked up is that? But seriously. Most people don’t know that they exist a thin membrane away from something they don’t think they could ever live through, and here I am–knowing. And living through it. I wear it like a heavy coat or a bag, sometimes a fanny pack that I am ashamed of and try to hide. I check my steps on my phone each day. Today I walked 3,116 steps, 1.1 miles, 2 floors, but that’s because I work! A desk job! This is the immobility of modern life, not disease! I walk up the steps and maybe I catch my toe, but still, I walk up the stairs.

There is so much we don't know and yet it exists anyways. There are 7 new planets and I am small. We are all so very, very small, and even though the world seems like it may be ending sometimes, I check my phone each morning knowing that I am lucky, that none of this matters, that I am happy, ripe as we are with fear and enduring kindness, after all, you don't know if you will still be walking in 5 years, you might be dead! Like I said, I may or may not be super fun at parties, our only difference being that I have caught a glimpse into the knowing, and I am here to tell you, to tell myself: it will all be ok, everything rich with existing at once.


SH said...

Not sure if this will help, but I tell myself that worrying about something isn't going to change the outcome. I have to tell myself multiple times a day, but in some ways it's freeing b/c it reminds me that I have no power over it. And also completely terrifying.

Anonymous said...

In your honor, S...

Ella Fitzgerald: Them There Eyes


Elise said...

I think it's better to live as if every day were your last - but not exactly. I mean, to do that would mean being like those people who really did think the world was going to end on May 21, 2001. Believers who stopped paying their mortgage, let their home go into foreclosure, quit their jobs...all because they thought Hey, why not! The world's about to end! I think the general idea though is to be aware of the fragility of life. I am by nature a pessimist (but a joyful one!) and therefore I am constantly aware that a distracted driver might plow into me on my way home. But because of this, I don't take anything for granted.

My spouse, on the other hand, is more of a cockeyed optimist who lives like there's never going to be an end. Oblivious. Not bothering to go visit family several states away, because hey there will always be time for that. Until one of them dies, and you haven't been home for years. And you think huh, I should've gone back home on a regular basis.

I try to browbeat my spouse into being more like me. Remind him to schedule a trip to see his relatives when they're not lying in a coffin. But his nature overrules me.

Thanks so much for your writing. I wish you peace.