I've made no secret of the fact that I've never taken comfort in the platitude so often given to cancer patients that anyone could die any day, that they could step off the curb and get run down by a truck without notice.
So the other day I was driving home from work. What I noticed first was the truck's speed. A bright red pickup truck, I noticed it because it was going so fast. My first thought, "wow that guy's moving." My second thought was, "he is entirely in my lane."
He swerved to avoid the car in front of me, and would have stuck it head on had it not done the same. He was moving so fast that it wasn't until he was already gone that I realized what had happened, and that I could feel my heart pounding, my pulse racing. He must have been going over 100mph. Had he hit me dead on, there is no chance I would have survived. The same could be said for the car in front of me. I played through the possible scenarios the rest of the ride home. What I would have done had he struck me but not killed me. Whom I would have called first. Or if he'd struck the car in front of me.
But he didn't. He just kept on driving. I'm not normally the sort to hold grudges but I admit to looking for red pickups on my way to and from work since then. Once you start looking, they're everywhere. One belongs to a co-worker but is the wrong shade, and much older. Another looked about right and is an emergency vehicle - which would explain the speed - but they weren't going code the day of the "near-incident." At least a dozen others, scattered about in random driveways and parking lots. There's no sense to looking, yet still I look.
Anyway, none of that explains why I haven't posted in so long. The reasons are two-fold, the first being that I've felt unusually withdrawn lately. I haven't felt inclined to write, not here or elsewhere, or partake in most of my other usual hobbies and interests. I've wanted the world to just leave me alone for a time, but as the days turned to weeks I came to recognize this as depression rearing its ugly head again. I'm not sure what to do about it, but it was confirmed last week when I went to visit my parents and my mother asked me, seemingly out of the blue, if I was feeling depressed again. She said I'd seemed sad, though I'd done my best to be pleasant for them. I had a minor headache, I said, which was true. She let it go but didn't buy it.
The truth is that I don't see the point in telling her. If I do, she'll just tell me what she thinks I ought to do and then ask me every few days if I've done it yet. Our relationship is much better since before my diagnosis but I really don't need that. I don't need yet another task on my list, or another way in which I am not living up to her expectations. I know there's no shame in seeking help, and if I don't find my way out of this funk on my own by June I'll do something about it. That way I'll at least have a better idea if it's the cancer playing tricks on me again.
The second reason is that I caught word of a crackdown at work, where they're going to start monitoring internet usage quite closely, and restrict it to only things related directly to work. While they've had plenty of sympathy for me, they don't pay me to write a cancer blog. Not to mention I use an alias on this blog so that I don't have to censor myself, which I most certainly would were my boss reading it with full knowledge of who I am. So whereas I used to do most of my writing at work, I now have to wait until I get home, at which point I've usually lost my muse or decided it's far too easy to just put it off until tomorrow (and tomorrow, and tomorrow).
My muse seems to have found me, which is why I'm now up passed my bedtime writing a long overdue post. One that's costing me sleep I will doubtlessly miss come tomorrow morning. I don't think I've made any breakthroughs tonight but just the same, I'm glad I wrote it. I felt, finally, that it was something I could no longer defer. For this exercise, my sleep will be shorter, but maybe it will also be more sound.