Last week I went to an arcade. I went to an arcade, mini-golf, go-kart fun park, to be exact. It was the middle of a weekday that threatened rain, and was not particularly crowded. At noon, I drove over to a strip mall to eat a bowl of soup. I even had half a glass of wine with dinner (don't tell Dr. Alyea!). I was in South Carolina, where there is much in full flower and...d'oh! Anyway.
I was not wearing gloves.
I was not wearing a mask.
I was not reading the labels and harassing the staff about every ingredient in the soup.
I was not tired, or wired, or sore, or hungry.
I was...fine. Normal. Totally normal. Normal like other people think of normal.
Last year in mid-April I was planning to begin my transplant conditioning in May. My friend Dave had just died from complications related to leukemia post-transplant. My donor had not yet suffered the injury that would put me through another round of consolidation chemo that would damage my heart and lungs and potentially render me unfit for treatment. The weather was, as now, just starting to get warm, and I was ferociously recovering from my first two rounds of treatment; attempting to gain weight and muscle mass, bolster my liver and kidneys and immune system, find my center, clear my mind.
I was not going to arcades.
Everyone tells you, everyone knows, that life is just a series of moments. It is so very easy to forget that, though. Perhaps some of my decisions seem strange from some perspectives; they are certainly not staid and conservative choices. I plan to live a very, very long time, but every chance I get to do better right now, to be more connected to the people in my life and less concerned with whether it matters that Lysander is eating nothing but hotdogs or Wallace is staying up all night reading Calvin and Hobbes, is a chance I have to take.
My thyroid is acting up, I guess I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis now; an auto-immune disorder in which the thyroid under-performs and my immune system attacks the gland. When the doctors told me that initially I was very frustrated. I wanted to be on a linear path to complete health. What is complete health, though? Was I completely healthy in my youth, in my twenties, when I didn't have what I have now? I may have been through cancer and ancillary entertainment since then, but my life is so rich, and the terrain of my body is made of wisdom and endurance borne of blood and sweat and tears. I have never been so healthy, so strong, so at home.
Look backwards. Go be in those places in your memory, and enjoy them, and relive them. But don't ever regret the loss of them, for they are still there, and what is happening now is worth living. Find a Go-Kart track.