Cathy's Page

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Paint It Black

Posted by Cathy Douglas on June 12, 2010 at 10:11 AM

(Adapted from my main journal, "Introvert on Purpose."  For people who don't know me, my husband, Dan, and I are traveling quite a bit this summer.  He's got terminal pancreatic cancer and wants to see a little more of the world.)

Naples, Florida

June 3, 2010

I don't know if I can do this very much longer. This is all so much pretense. You're supposed to have fun on a vacation, but he never smiles, never laughs. I do sometimes. He knows exactly what's wrong with it and doesn't smile back. Tomorrow we leave, but it won't matter.


I never read the news. Other people tell me everything I need to know about it, and more. I just went out to watch the sunset, and everyone was talking about the BP oil spil and the oil slick spreading through the gulf. Squinting at the horizon, as if they could see it out there. It's nowhere near western Florida yet, but might as well be, as we all look at the white sand and imagine it black. I've seen maps; it's a small thing out there. Nobody knows exactly what will happen, but we know it's bound to grow.


That's what it's like for us too. Dan doesn't feel too bad, right now. He's up to maybe 110 pounds, he can eat, he can sleep, he doesn't need more than maybe a dozen pills every day. But there's the unseen thing, you can't ever forget it. If it's not here yet, why can't we all just watch the sun set over the gulf? Why can't two married people enjoy some time together, before. . .


When they do an MRI, the nasty blotches are small, and black, like birdshot taken into the digestive organs. If they never grew, we wouldn't have any problems.


I don't feel like doing anything, ever again--don't want to go anyplace, or talk to anybody. I'm tired of being visible. I'm jealous of garbage. I want to go home. I just don't want to be there.


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