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On Gratitude

"I keep my head in the clouds. / My feet aren't seeds so I see no reason to plant them. / And I'll keep my head in the clouds. / You say, "But I am here on the ground." / There's not enough love in the world to weigh me down."

Some Girls

I'm going in for surgery tomorrow at 9 a.m. The doc is supposed to start cutting at 10:15 or so.

I am, all things considered, a little nervous.

I don't know what he's going to find. He may not even know. There are a wide variety of things going wrong right now and all of them are potentially fatal or terminal, certainly problematic and definitely painful. Life is not, at the moment, fun. There's too much uncertainty.

And yet this weekend was good. Shane drove down from Chicago to hang out - we wound up building a computer on the fly so that I could learn some fairly geeky things. We watched a couple of movies - "Revenge Of The Sith" was only vengeful in that the dialogue never relented or showed mercy; "XXX: State Of The Union" was a fun popcorn flick. We drank a lot of coffee, ate a few meals and talked a lot. It reminded me of hanging out with him in San Diego in 2002 - unemployed, not knowing where I was going to land, but seeing "Road To Perdition" and eating burritos while talking about life, the universe and everything. Literally. Later, Mellie and her daughter came over. While Mellie sewed buttons back on, Caitlin played guitar and I tried to teach her how a guitar works and how you can tune a guitar to itself. After that, we went over to ISU and watched bunnies and squirrels run around; we sat with our feet in a fountain and watched the water splash over our toes.

The weeks leading up to this have been a little stressful - I keep feeling like some of my friends aren't listening to what I need, which is, simply put, to vent about this, make sure that affairs are in order and to confront the possibility of death. That isn't an especially easy conversation to have with most folks. That's one of the reasons why I was so glad that Shane was out here; while I know everything is likely to be okay, I needed to look at the other possibility. I needed to look at it long and hard.

This is, in essence, part of that stare down - and there really isn't much else I can call it. While I obviously haven't died yet (although I probably should have on at least two occasions) and I have no intention of dying tomorrow, next week or next month, I've always hoped for the best and planned for the worst.

Luckily, I'm not someone who waits for impending disaster to tell my friends that they are the only family I have, that they are the people I love and that, since the people we love are the only country we really have, they are my home as well. They are my bedrock and my foundation; they are my support and my solace. I probably annoy my friends by telling them that all the time, but it's because I don't want to leave these things unsaid if death comes unexpectedly. I want my friends to know how much they mean to me every day - every conversation, every call, every mile driven, every moment shared.

My life is a mosaic of these things; if you look closely enough at my days, you will see yourself reflected in them, perhaps as a stray glance or offhand comment, more likely as a focal point. I wouldn't have it any other way because all of it has been worth it - the long drives, the conversations that never seemed to end, the anticipation as a reunion draws near.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but right now, I'm thinking of every last one of you crazy, lunatic, beautiful, creative, fucked up, inspired bastards and the love you've all shown me over the years and I'm grateful for every moment of it. I hope that no one reading this has to wonder if they're a friend of mine; most of you already know that I remember every kindness you've shown me and I've done my damnedest to forget anything that was unintentionally hurtful. I can only hope that you forgive my periodic flakiness and dropping off the face of the planet every so often and can overlook those moments when I didn't quite live up to being the person I try to be.

I love you all. Whether you like it or not, you're all part of my family and I wouldn't have it any other way. And rest assured, regardless of what happens, we will have at least one more drink together. Make mine Beam up, Bud back. And cheers to you - now and always.


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Last modified on Wednesday, March 26, 2008