“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” -Thomas Jefferson
Here I am, staring at the TV exhausted, grey, bald, and out of breath. I can barely walk to the toilet without fighting the darkness that sneaks up around the corner of my eyes. I grab onto the sink for support and take some deep breaths. I can’t fall here. Besides, nobody would hear me if I did. I gather as much strength as I can and slowly trudge back to the sofa. The blanket is still warm in the center despite the cold AC blowing its sweet chill in these warm summer days. My phone has been on silent for days and I have hundreds of messages, calls, and all sorts of social media that need to be tended to. The people who know me the best send a simple message that requires no answer, just well wishes. Others demand an explanation of how I’m feeling and a detailed analysis of my situation. I can’t be bothered to even think about my phone for now and rest my head on the sofas arm and get lost in “American Pickers”, a simple show where two guys roam America buying and selling junk. I sense death sitting right next to me, but I got used to his presence and am not scared anymore. We all have our day, and I know that now isn’t my time yet. “Screw you death, you’re gonna have to wait a little bit longer I’m not done yet” I whisper as I huddle deeper into the blanket.
I FEEL LIKE MY WHOLE LIFE WAS A SANDCASTLE AND THE TIDE CAME AND SIMPLY ERASED IT TOTALLY LEAVING NOTHING BUT A LUMP OF SAND.
In mornings when I have the energy to read the newspaper I realize I’ve wasted most of my life being selfish. I had a fun time most of my youth just caring about what my next adventure was gonna be, and had a lot of people who I called friends. Too many who really weren’t and too few who really were. I realized all I really needed was a handful of good men, and the rest could go to hell. I realized that I missed the now, I was either living in the past or the future and was never satisfied with settling in the present. What a stupid kid I was. Now that I was chained up by cancer I was forced to learn what patience was, and forced to face every single demon, headed by his darkness Satan himself who sneered at me from the shadows. Sneer away bro, I already said you aint gonna get me, and I’m gonna destroy every other demon by facing them. And I did. I vowed to make a difference when I was released from my grave/bed, and do my best to spread my lessons.
As the clock ticks slowly on the wall above my TV, I wonder how many times it needs to spin for me to be free. I feel like my whole life was a sandcastle and the tide came and simply erased it totally leaving nothing but a lump of sand. I’m a shell of the man I was physically with only shadows of a bright past as memories. Were those days real? Was I really a happy-go-lucky guy? Was everything really that easy? Did I really have that many friends? Did I really believe in those ideals still? I can rebuild my body, but how can I find my soul again? I lost it somewhere in a soup of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and the gaggle of drugs that followed it. I have chemo-brain, and have to fight through a haze of clouds and fog to collect my thoughts.
WHO AM I? I THINK I KNOW, AND I HOPE TO LIVE UP TO THOSE EXPECTATIONS.
Then the weirdest thing happened. I craved a certain song from my childhood “November Rain” by Guns N Roses. I then shifted to a Pearl Jam song, and Youtube filled in the rest. It was like hammer after hammer, remolding my core: Song after song took me back to the days when I was young and dumb, when I was invincible and indestructible. When I would care for nothing but the fun of the moment. I found myself again, and vowed to keep the young man alive no matter what. It was time for him to come out and merge with the new me. The wiser, more careful, thoughtful man who crawled out of hell and shut the door behind. Together we might be able to change things in the vision of the kid with the power of the adult. That was a few years ago and my path is still laid ahead of me; long and winding. I hope to be the man I imagined I could be, and never disappoint the little boy. Who am I? I think I know, and I hope to live up to those expectations.
This is also available in Arabic if you'd like.