Dignity Preferred, Alas Deferred
3/ 10/ 14
Wake at first alarms. The wife's bedside table intoning some preliminary o'clock, clearing its throat for the official wake-up call due not even she knows when. The son's rapid fire crickets silenced with a swat--snooze once, he'll be fine, twice, he'll be frantic in the shower, three times, he'll miss breakfast and start the day frustrated.
Rise when the alarums subside and the excursions begin: school, work, activity. Now available, I know, for I have been counting flushes and footsteps, I use the toilet with an urgency which woke with me back around Preliminary o’clock, AM. On any other day, I walk crookedly and arrive eventually at the Kuerig, make (read: wearily push a button hoping to have wearily put down a mug at some point prior) cup of medium roast. I detach a banana, pocket a cereal bar, and walk shakily back down the hall, past the bathroom, and get situated in front of the “news”—involving sports, involving terror, involving sparsely-concealed inventiveness. Of course there are more morning details but not to follow here.
Because this is Avastin day. I seem to recall. My short term memory capacity is on the decline, most noticeably in cases of the next day’s plans for school, work, activity . . . for whom those plans apply is rarely me; but just in case I’m be in charge of oven preheating, casserole inserting, cooking time inputting, I like to apprised, if only to forget forthwith. Forgotten plans for tomorrow—classic cases of memory escape. Of others, more in upcoming entries because they have become more salient in relation to the progression of my condition. So, as only crossword puzzles and I say, “Anon (with ‘more’).”
One morning detail on Avastin day has already been taken care of. Partially. It occurs to me with a sigh and eye-roll. Once again I have thoughtlessly emptied my bladder without a urine sample cup. I will pee again before 2:00 PM. Surely. It’s only 7:30 AM. There’s coffee in the queue, juice to join in an hour or so, water and/ or tea at some point. I will pee again and then I’ll fill my cup.
But this is Avastin day. When I ask her, my wife confirms the date; when I ask her after another sigh, she affirms that she’s in charge of dinner. Under Avastin day sort of pressure, I very well may not pee again. And if I don’t before I get to the clinic, all those preloaded beverages will not be well enough primed by 2:00 PM to serve the purpose. In fact, cannot be well enough primed.
To explain, here’s a grim tale.
There once was a man whose color was peach. He knew of blues and browns and yellows and many more, he had even met a silver and was jealous. On peach days, his day, he was driven to a squat building on wheels. There was a time when he would have proudly driven himself to the squat building
on wheels but after a series of debatable events, he relied on graces for a time. Until a time when he’d no longer be peach.
Every morning, the man had an important yet simple message waiting for him. Was today a blue day, a brown day, a yellow day or one of the others' days? Silver’s day? He hoped not—such was the man whose color was peach’s admiration for the man whose color was silver. Or was it peach day? As it had been on that very first day.
On that very first day of being driven to the squat building on wheels, the man discovered a simple yet important detail waiting for him. Even though it was just the first day, the man already knew why he had come. He had come to pee in a cup.
Inside the squat building on wheels, the man whose color was peach was greeted by a fellow whose torso was huge and whose smile seemed inappropriate, quite frankly, all things considered, given the circumstances of the hour.
Anon, the fellow whose torso was huge and whose smile seemed inappropriate, quite frankly, all things considered, given the circumstances, of the hour opened a door for the man whose color was peach. The man entered. The fellow followed . . . and watched.
Ever after, there was a man whose color was blush.
Every other week there was a day whose name was Avastin. On days whose name was Avastin, the man whose color was now and ever after blush knew what he had to do. He had to pee in a cup. And on most days whose name was Avastin, he remembered. He remembered, quite frankly because his color was, after all, blush. But on some of those days, he forgot to pee in a cup beforehand and the man whose color was blush became the man who, quite mildly, was just oatmeal out of luck.
Footnote: Years later, I've gone back to relying on the graces of others to tote me to and fro. I have not driven a car in over 3 years. It is illegal to drive in Alabama until 6 months after the driver's last seizure; beyond that, in my tenuous condition, it's plain ill-advised, regardless.
Final note: I've been told that my color is blue.