some place else
Seven am. On a Saturday. Believe me it was a mighty struggle. But I prefer the early morning over the nocturnal conscience. There is peace throughout the night. But there is hope in the day. I like waking up early. Six hours of sleep is all I really need to function. Or, to be less irritable. I enjoy the light, basking in the morning sun I never feel when I’m in the office for the rest of the week. It strengthens the bones.
Speaking of the body, my medication is working albeit slowly. My lungs are clearing. My head hurts less. Half of my voice is back. I can think. Still not as clear as would love it to be so I could afford some decent pleasures. But I’m writing again. And reading. And thinking about thinking again. And complaining. And angry. And sad. It is better to have some resentments and blues rather than be a prisoner of his own bed.
I haven’t resumed to my vices however. But it doesn’t matter. The glamor of alcohol, the imprudence of a hangover, the exquisite burn of the cigarette, have all been rendered unappealing to a man dependent on betamethasone, ebastine, and corticosteroids. Perhaps, and I say this with much teeth-grinding, I will never return to the vodka and nicotine and tar. Well, at least not on a regular basis. A few sips. A few bottles. A quick burn of the lungs once a month or on a rainy evening. But never by the weeks. Certainly, never by the days. Such sorrow parting with my whiskey. Such sorrow parting with my cancer sticks.
Once the period of convalescence is over, I do wonder where I will be, and whether I will return to the same point in life I dropped off when I got sick. Or maybe I shall resume life someplace else. Some place indefinite. Some place where I could just be on my own. Some place far from the sneering, the scheming, the subtext, and the familiar. Just me, myself, and I.
Although I must say I once detested being on my own. I always needed someone – a friend, a brother, a cousin, a classmate, a colleague. Needed company. Needed a familiar face. Almost always to escape my least favorite person – myself. But there was an overwhelming flux of change. And an overwhelming desire to stop doing what I had been doing. To stop being so restless and relentless. To stop being someone I am not. To stop being so afraid.
Now, I see things better. The ricochet of ideas sound clearer. The slivers of truth easier to fish-out. All because I am on my own. In my walks. In my plans. In my hopes. All because I no longer feel obligated to explain myself to anyone; to put down in words my loneliness; or, to arrange my life according to what pleases other people. It feels better to be alone for the bulk of my days. Minimal attachments. Minimal pains. I owe this to myself. To come in, and then to come out, without worrying what goes on between. My imagination can be best put somewhere else. I really should be some place else.