|from Hedgehog in the Fog|
While volunteering to the help the victims of Sandy this week, I got put in charge of expediting food deliveries, normally something I would be great at. I'm bossy, can be loud if necessary, and think well on my feet. But I made mistakes, duplicated some orders, forgot what I asked people to do. Volunteers came up to me saying, "I just talked to you..." and I would have no memory of them. The look on their faces, of bewilderment or frustration reminded me of my grandma and her slow decline into dementia.
I feel old now, creaky and slow. Hammering home that feeling is the fact that my ten year high school reunion is coming up in a few weeks. I'm not going. I would never have gone anyway, but still somehow I'm sad that I won't get to redeem myself Romy and Michelle style.
The only way I would ever be seen at that event is as cancer girl. One step above the kids that died in freak accidents. People would murmur sympathy, and back away slowly. Tragedy could be catching.
I imagine a version of myself in an alternate universe in which none of this shit happened. My Fulbright application would have been freshly turned in, thesis/novel draft nearing completion. Working for Fordham again, maybe auditing a class. Writing lots, maybe even making artwork, being in the studio tour. Drinking cocktails. Cooking. Reading books. Gardening.
I imagine myself other self, my evil (or good) twin, showing up at the reunion in a sexy yet understated black dress. Maybe I even already have an agent for my book. Matt is looking handsome, and has big story that's just come out in the paper. And I make a splash. I make high school my bitch, vindicating, erasing all the pain of those years with one night's success. And true to film the night culminates in something spectacular in a small way, like an amazing karaoke performance, after which I drop the mic on the stage and yell "Lemon OUT!" and stalk away. And I never think of high school or this night again because it is just that complete.
As my other self, I win one for the weirdos.
The escape, though momentarily delicious, is incomplete. Even in my head, I can't picture myself as anything but bald.
Chemo number: 8/12
Number of needle sticks: 2
Number of stares I got sitting in the chair: at least 4