I could say why not?
Why share my story with you or anyone?
I suppose you could.
I suppose you could take it with you.
Where would I be taking it?
Do you know?
I didn’t say I knew anything.
I just said maybe you don’t want to share.
And why would I?
Why would I share with you or anyone?
Maybe because through sharing it
you could help yourself.
Maybe help others.
Why would I want to help others?
Why would I want to help myself?
Are you implying there is a greater good.
A reason to this disease.
I’m just trying to see why you wouldn’t.
You are putting words in my mouth.
Well say there is something.
Some reason for sickness.
Some reason to war.
Some reason to all the violence
and atrocities of the human condition.
Okay. I’m saying there is a reason.
What would that reason be?
To wake people up.
To wake up the world maybe.
Wake it up from what?
From a slumber.
A sleep walking.
A dream state.
Well that’s quite a leap but I’ll follow you.
Maybe we are here as speakers
for something greater than our bodies.
Maybe the experience is a jolt to those
who need it.
By experience you are saying Cancer, correct?
Yes, the bloody C word. You know what I’m saying.
Okay, well I’m listening.
So we are chosen then?
I’m not saying chosen but yes, maybe. Like random.
A lottery. Those who get it hit the jackpot.
The good jackpot or the bad? There is no cancer lottery.
Okay. Point taken. Let’s not call it a lottery.
What should we call it then?
How about a random story machine.
Okay, well that’s a good one. It has a flow to it.
Well in this random story machine, humanity is tested.
This random story machine could be for other horrors as well.
Anything that pushes one beyond their physical and mental abilities.
What type of horrors?
The typical horrors. The news horrors. The horrors on the television.
On your smart phone. The ones you try to ignore. Beheadings. Bombings. Climate change. War. Genocide. Extinction.
Okay, okay… I get it. So all of those horrors are story generators. Random.
Yes, it is very possible.
Very possible what?
That each horror, cancer in this case is generating a story for each individual and each family who experiences cancer.
I can see that.
So why would you tell your story to anyone if everyone has one?
Everyone has a horror in their life. A death. A war. A famine.
Maybe so we can all learn from it? Maybe so the pain is worth something? Maybe so that when it’s all over, you have something to give to the survivors? Something to give to yourself?
Why would I want to give anything to anyone? Myself?
Well that’s not the question you want to ask in the end is it?
You’re lying there on your death bed, a year or fifty years from now
and you get to ask that? How’d you think you’d feel?
Well, like crap I suppose? Like I didn’t dot all my eyes. Like I didn’t finish the sentence of my life.
And what if you had a paragraph to share? Or even a whole novel?
But what if my paragraph or novel is not worth sharing? Is not good enough? Is too short?
Is that why you would not share? Because you are not good enough?
I suppose so. Never thought of it that way. I guess that’s why I don’t write or speak about it.
Who are you comparing yourself to?
The great writers. I like Hemingway.
What do you like about Hemingway.
He was heroic. He was plain spoken. Honest. He lived and died exactly how he wanted to.
That’s a good point. He did blow his head off too.
I don’t want to blow my head off. I never said that.
I didn’t say you did, but you said he was heroic for doing so.
I didn’t say that at all. I just think he was kind of a real man.
And you’re not?
I don’t know what I am. I got cancer and then that was my story. I never really got to be a man. I was just beginning. Just starting my life. Just a year over thirty.
Okay, so you’re not old enough to tell your story?
Maybe I feel I haven’t lived long enough to have a story. At least not one that is interesting enough to tell.
Well you just said above that cancer is your story.
Is that enough? Can a disease be my story? How can that help anyone?
I’m sure there have been times when you thought you had reached the end, that you weren’t going to live much longer through treatment?
Sure, I have. Cancer is scary shit. It hits hard. A cancer diagnosis makes your stomach hurt automatically. I felt like I was going to throw up. When I was in the ER and the doctor said I had a brain tumor, I could not believe it.
Why couldn’t you believe it?
Because I was healthy. Was lifting weights. Was running. My wife and I had just had a baby girl. We were starting our lives together.
It entered our lives. It took all the space up in the ER room. All the space in our home for a while. We were rushing all up and down the east coast to make sure that the diagnosis was correct. It was.
What did you guys do?
We freaked out.
Cancer is scary.
Yes it is fucking scary. We went online and damn, you don’t want to read about it. You don’t want to read about lifespans or prognosis on any brain tumor. Any of them.
See, you’re telling me your story now.
I guess cancer does that. Sort of takes the walls down among friends.
Are we friends now? We just met.
Well, I’m telling you my story now aren’t I?
Yes, you are. And I’m thankful.
You might not thank me when it’s finished.
I want it to be long. I want you to survive.
So we can get past cancer and start talking about life.
Yes, what will you do after cancer? That type of thing.
I never thought about it.
Maybe it’s time to start.