I don’t even know where to start this post. I feel like a lifetime has passed since the gauntlet that’s been my life began. I remember how things were going to be different, I told myself when a cold, snowy January rang in the new year: 2014. I’d been writing my ass off, looking forward to a workshop far from the snow. But January 10th changed everything. The day my mom broke two-three vertebrae in her back. I was able to attend my February workshop, but it was a struggle because my mom needed care. When I returned home, things were worse, so much worse. Two back surgeries later and still, she could barely move. Leaving me in a caretaker role. I remember how difficult taking care of my father had been when he suffered through a decade of Parkinson’s and heart trouble. As much as I love my mom, I just didn’t think I had it in me to be full-time caregiver, full-time employee, and working writer. Moving up the chain at work into a directorial role had left me over-worked and over-stressed over the past two years as it was. Combined with back/knee/chronic pain issues, I wasn’t in a very good personal state to embark on another horrible boat-ride down the river Styx with no paddle and no coin for the ferryman. Especially when they buckled me in with a fucking shoulder harness.
So, needless to say, I went kicking and whining and screaming on a year-long odyssey of self-destruction while I tried to get my mom help, keep my job, and keep my cats from eating me when they ran out of food. Thank God for Amazon Prime and Petflow. By December of 2014, I looked out the window at another cold, dreary winter, much colder than the last, and realized that ol’ Charon had kicked my boat away from shore and toward the falls. And miraculously, the boat had landed upright in little wooden splinters all over the frozen lake of Hell. Yes! Hell. Had. Frozen! So, I undid my shoulder harness (okay, it was already smashed into pieces), and got up from the icy ground. I can do this, I told myself, striding toward the crunchy white grass. And slipped and fell on my ass. Yep, with all the fun going on, I discovered that I had some bulging discs that doubled me over with…more fun! Yep, I was in the perfect position to take over for ol’ Sisyphus who needed to go on holiday and needed a sub to push his fucking rock up and down the hill for a few more months. So, naturally, I just couldn’t pass up such a wonderful opportunity. And since it was colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra (yeah, that’s so old, but hey, I’m not gettin’ any younger these days, myself), I could ice my back and help out a bro with his rock-recreation at the same time. Multitasking!
So the unfun continued into some even more unfun until it brought to me to the year 2015. My mom’s back was better, enough that she could take care of things without me making them worse (like not putting the skillets in the right cabinet or making beds with the pillows on top of the comforter). BUT…then I found out I had a wee bit of internal bleeding. Just a wee bit. Not like a geyser or when you forget and leave the hose running in the backyard. Just a little bit that showed up in test I didn’t want to take. Thanks to a good doctor who nagged the hell out of me to go have the test that no one wants to take, I still put it off until April. After enduring the native ritual of ingesting only the most tasteless substances of the earth, including a shitload (pun intended) of only the worst tasting sports drinks’ flavors made (‘coz red and purple bad) and being denied my one pleasure in life (Diet Coke – hey, I live on the edge), I embarked on the day I said would never come: Colonoscopy Day. Holee fuck was this a bad day! There’s SO MANY THINGS they don’t tell you. See, your mind tries to protect you and so it deletes these little horrors so they won’t wake you up screaming at 3 AM when you realize that all that shit they make you take doesn’t stop working just because your procedure time arrives. No, this is energizer bunny shit that goes and goes and goes and it doesn’t matter that you’re so done with this relationship. It’s that bad ex-boyfriend who follows you to your favorite coffee house or that awesome sports bar you used to love. It comes with you to the hospital, comes with you to registration, sits with you in your hospital bed when they tell you the procedure’s been delayed an hour so just hang tight while your bowels blow up like beach balls and you feel like if you move an inch, it will be a large Hadron collider, black hole explosion of Gatorade and chicken broth and fucking peach popsicles you’ve been living on for 36 hours. And then finally, they take you in for the procedure and just when you think you just can’t deal with another moment, the blessed drugs kick in and you fade into a shamed and broken sleep while they…sigh…y’know. Take more pictures than a war correspondent of things you didn’t even want to know existed.
It took a while for the results (weeks, but hey, who’s counting, right? it’s just a little internal bleeding…just a little), but in the end, I dodged a bullet. Precancerous. Don’t know if those ninja polyp bastards were studying cancer blueprints to take over my colon or if they’d just been around long enough that they wanted to make a club for the whole gang. Either way, I dodged a serious bullet and I at least owe my doctor a fruit basket. It wasn’t until after they were gone that I realized how much pain I no longer had. It’s amazing how long you can live with something and how many ways you can explain something away to yourself.
So, that brings me to June and summer and the moment when I realized that I had again been lying on the floor for a fucking year and a half. I’m sure that I owe a bazillion people emails, so if you emailed me without response…my apologies on going dark. There was just too much fun to be had and I admit, I was being selfish and not sharing it. I’ve given Charon back his boat, Sisyphus his rock, and I only twitch a little bit when I see a bottle of Gatorade. But I’m alive, dammit. And stuff needs to get written. It never writes itself unfortunately.
So, Silverthorne’s back from the dead. Again. God, I’m such a cliche! Predictable. Like a bad network connection. No matter what my bandwidth test says, my upload’s always slow. But consistent. [Thanks to my buddy, Ron Collins for the persistent necromancy]