I have to break this streak with some good news before I tell more bad news. First, I had a really good sushi lunch with a former boss/friend of mine, where some very exciting banter exchanged. That's all I can safely say about that. My tax refund (should I get it, I am not sure of anything anymore) is larger than I expected, which should ease some financial woes looming.
Like going to Jacksonville, Florida! I used to program two call centers there, but that's not why I am going, because I don't work for that place anymore. No, I am going because... drum roll please... my only brother-in-law is dying! This is like sick and twisted game show where I either win prizes that are bad for me, or I am losing, but can't quit the game. Like those torture game shows I have heard about in Japan.
Poor Francis Skidmore. He got real sick from Hepatitis a few years ago from a blood transfusion (following a car wreck, I think). His liver has finally failed, but no one bothered to call his family, no. We had to find out while looking for him. Christine's planning a family reunion, and she's been trying to get all kinds of people from her mother's side to come to West Virginia. Her brother has not had an easy life, either. I got to meet him only about two times because he doesn't come up this way very much, except for funerals, and that's why Christine wanted the reunion, "So we don't just keep meeting for funerals." Her sister died last year, which is when we last saw Fran, I think. Now it's his turn. I bet Debbie, Christine's oldest sister, wonders what she did to live longer than two of her younger siblings. Fran always seemed like a nice guy.
In the last 24 hours, Christine has found out that he's been hospitalized a lot in the last year and was almost released to die at home last week. We never knew. All we last heard was that he was ill, and we sort of knew he didn't have long to live after the accident, but no one tells us anything. Fran's trying to be brave in the face of all this, of course. No one knows how long he has, but it's probably less than a month. His liver's failed, he's got pneumonia, and if he died before I finish this entry, no one would be surprised.
Christine is trying to keep it together, but she's hurting bad. She loves Fran very much, even though they haven't seen much of each other since they were kids. What's making it worse is the inane hospital staff won't call her, and won't tell us when he's been moved, and to where, and she's had to keep calling and calling just to find out anything for her and Debbie. Christine also has another sister left, Cheryl, but we haven't gotten in touch with her yet.
Christine has already emotionally pleaded her case to me that she's the kid sister, the youngest, and shouldn't have to deal with this (in a plaintive plea, not a dismissive "not my problem" sort of way). But we're the only ones that can. I keep thinking, "God, if you really hate me this much, hurt me. Not my loved ones. Your beef on this Earth is with me. Don't be a coward." But that's a pretty screwed up Messiah complex, and that counter thought keeps me off the clock towers, shooting rifles.
If this was a video game? I'd have reset the switch a long time ago, and wiped my save files back to December. But, in a kind of scary way, I can't feel pain anymore. I spent some time tonight poking myself with sharp things to try and feel pain. But I don't, and that's ... well, it should be scary. I haven't done that since... well, since 2001. I used to do it a LOT as a teen, in what they call SI (Self-injury), but I stopped when I got older once I just got tired of the infections and all the whiny asshats who did it "to get attention" because I didn't want to be one of them. I know I am emotionally shutting down, and some calm, rational side is taking over, and that part tells me to stop poking myself with sharp things because it's a potential for infection and serves no purpose after it's been established I have stopped reacting to pain other than being really dramatic, and who am I playing to? No one. And that means one thing:
I have passed my panic threshold.
Kind of like the eye of the hurricane, it is. An eerie calm. I will be okay now. I think I was once afraid I'd go over the edge and be suicidal or something just as stupid, but I know now that logic and reasoning will carry me through. It's a strange Zen-like state with amazing clarity, and I can understand why, as a child, I wanted to be a Vulcan. Carlos Castineda called this the "moment of power" when you bypass fear, gain clarity, and overcome clarity with reason and balance. It's a tenuous hold. I know, somehow, that things are about to get worse in my life. While I do not know the reasons of this sudden onslaught of bad fortune, I am sure it will become clearer to me after I have passed through it. I must do what I can to learn from what happens to me, and try not to fight it anymore.
Vishnu once said, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds," so I say, "Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil," or, as I learned it from fandom growing up in an athiest household, "Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me."
[ Thanks Jim. We still miss you. ]
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000427.html