Tuesday, December 04, 2012

SEVEN MONTHS

Today I walked into the sunlight and saw my old friend and fellow newspaper survivor, Jimmie. He brought up a conversation we had a couple weeks ago and apologized.

"For what?"

"Well, after we talked I was a little worried about you," he said. "I was worried you were going to hurt yourself."

No need to worry, I told him, and I meant it. There is no way I'm going to intentionally hurt myself. I may not be a lot of things, but I am a survivor.

Wednesday marks seven months since I collapsed on a sunny sidewalk. Any lingering traces of a limp in my step or in my mind only surface when I'm really tired. Otherwise, it's just me — only a different version of me, one that was born sometimes after my brain decided to stroke out.

My friend Shawn was right: my greatest sorrow has become my greatest joy. I have become a stronger, more put-together person, someone who's not going to chew on a gun barrel or do a vertical dance with razors. I've got too many weird things to do with the weird ones in my life. I want those things to happen; sweet Jesus, I want to live to be 102, another 50-plus years of being a pain in the ass to many and a delight to the few misfits who enjoy my company.

That said, the sense of finality is never far from my head these days. I guess that's what I was trying to say to Jimmie in the conversation that worried him so. My days dwindle. That scares me. I try to shake that fatalism, but it does not go away. I hope for the coming odd year but find it almost impossible to envision myself ringing out the old. All I see is an honest mistake going awry. Fucking metric system is going to be the death of me yet, I fear.

After talking with Jimmie I turned my face to the sun and closed my eyes. I thought about the Sunshine that brightens my nights, and I smiled at the real warmth on my face and the remembered warmth in my heart. Moments like that help to keep the fatalism and fear at bay. I need more sunshine (and Sunshine) in my life. Especially at night, when there is no lack of darkness.

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