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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

clipped wings

cedars has a stank.

i noticed it as we were walking the halls friday morning.

like any monolith, it creaks and strains under transparent propaganda, presenting the image of a well-oiled machine, when underneath it's a faulty tower like the tin man, parched, smacking lip service for a drop of oil.

there's no way to dress up the rot. like a moldy sponge doused in antiseptic fragrance, the toxic air scrapes the back of my throat, spoon-gagging, dry heaving denial that i was already back.

arms pumping, i reached for the door handle and yanked open the reveal.

a portrait of sad, suffering sardines, collapsed into chairs, collapsed into chasms. waiting to be poked, waiting for answers that might spackle the fissures between their past and their now.

much too stark a sunrise for this shadeless, night owl.

in a word. loathe.

"i loathe this place", i thought bubbled. blowing up infatuation for this word. a gooey, sticky, explosive declarative of not just friday's hospital pit stop, but the entire sick journey one chews upon, until all the flavor has gone.

"i loathe this place".

with a bandaged arm and one wounded wish, we left the lab and bumped into kevin's transplant coordinator, a.

"hey guys, how's it going?"

her casual greeting should have comforted, but it was like gorging on hot 'n spicy chili; warm and soothing going down, then hitting it's destination with the violence of a vandal's brick.

not even a raised eyebrow of surprise that i was back so soon.

[was her thought bubble, "ah, the loud redhead is back...paper, rock, scissors who gets her?...]

cedars is my "cheers". where everybody knows my name.

"i loathe this place".

then i remembered my friend, l. who blogged about loathing the cancer clinic she goes to up in eastern canada. and how she inspired me to begin blogging.

no matter what.

because it's my body. and my life. and my blog.

like a jack in the box, i will always pop back up to reign in this manic circus. because when i hear words like "always overimmunosuppressed " and "medication guidelines" ring-tossed around, i not only think outside the box, i take a fire-eating torch to the foundation.

"four walls won't hold me tonight"...

[i never thought i'd be quoting michael jackson...]

gone are the days of squashing our pain into ass-flattening oblivion. there is no badge of honor in "never complaining" or stoic silence.

[silence is the oxygen of disease; snuff it out with your screams...]

so i'm going to own my kindergarten moniker of "chatterbox" and never stop asking...

[to take one less jagged little pill...(a black fly in your (sigh) chardonnay)...isn't that ironic?]

because when we close our eyes against all illness, the fluttering of our eyelashes ceases still, and the butterfly effect is arrested.

and we are all punished...

[call me a minion of the new order of transplantation. a slick part and parcel of it's 21st century advancement. obligated to lead, to show the white coats; we are not just pill popping, zom-plants. but people terrified to reduce our medications into rejection episodes; yet, so held hostage by relentless side effects, that we ooze unrecognizable desperation from our voices, our faces, our hearts; then wipe the panic from our chins, and beg again for that which paralyses...]

we will bare witness to the individual patient's gloriously chaotic order running free through random data; random research and not a clump of patient "guidelines" stopping up the flow chart...

and when they open their eyes and see; like a moth to a flame (retardant)...

we'll take wing. and take flight. and go. go. go.

"i loathe this place".

in her frustration, l. chose a word that fluttered in my heart, years later. she doesn't even know it, but on friday, as i walked those masked, halloween-ed halls, she slipped her hand in mine.

and squeezed.

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