Daily Archives: June 17, 2014

hope is a yellow rubber bracelet.

Six years ago today, they told him he was going to die. I mean, maybe not in so many words, but the implication was there. 18% survival rate for this type of cancer, they said. Stage 4. The worst kind of shit. You’ll be lucky if you get a solid year.

I honestly can’t remember if I found out THAT day, but it was soon enough after. And I was in shock. Like, seriously? No. No way. I was in shock. Disbelief. I waved it off. Nope. Not real.

The same day, I went to the mall. The news and the trip were unrelated; I think I’d been planning on going that day anyway? Whatever. I found myself in one of those shoe stores that sell $6,000 Nikes and Adidas in every color of the neon goddamned rainbow. I bought some sandals. I brought them to the counter. The guy rang me up, then motioned to a display to my right.

“Do you want to buy a Livestrong bracelet for a dollar?”

And I froze. And I stopped breathing. And my heart pounded in my chest. And I couldn’t speak. I nodded. I motioned back at the bracelets. He threw one in my bag. And I walked out of the store, completely and totally dazed. Because THAT is when it sank in. THAT is when I realized that things would never, ever, ever be the same.

I wore that bracelet every fucking day. Every day. I felt naked without it. It became my Thing. I was teased. I was admired. I was convinced that if I were to take it off, something Terrible would happen. After all, I am superstitious (sometimes) to a fault. Borderline diagnosable in these sorts of situations, really.

The day that it broke – I literally wore it until it just snapped into two pieces – I cried. Because it meant something Terrible was going to happen. I immediately bought another. Hell, I ordered a ton more so I could pass them around. And always have a backup, of course.

But instead of something Terrible, something as magical as my convoluted thinking happened: he got better. Remission. No more cancer. He kicked its fucking ass, y’all. Did it like it was fucking nothing. 18%? Whatever, chumps.

I continued to wear the bracelet for at least a few years after. I slowly wore it less and less, as I saw just how well he was doing and my anxiety gradually faded. I don’t wear it at all anymore, really. And while there was a time when I would have almost felt ashamed to say that, I know now that it doesn’t matter. None of it matters.

Because I got to keep my fucking friend around awhile longer.

I love ya, B. Continue to live strong, you bad ass motherfucker.

Sometimes I guess there just aren’t enough rocks.

Last week, I was having a shit day at work so on my first break I went and filled my pockets with small landscaping stones and walked to a remote part of the parking lot and threw them at the trees. I wanted nothing more than to hit a tree trunk with a satisfying thunk but ended up just tossing them all into a small ravine instead. Sorta satisfying, I guess.

Then I came back inside and apologized to everyone who had the displeasure of speaking to me for the previous three hours and explained how I’d just released my anger and frustration, all the while realizing just how much of a nut I probably sounded like.

Today I had a moderately-shit day at work and did the same. Sort of. This time I took a handful of rocks (no pockets today, grrr) and kicked them across a mostly-empty parking lot. The decorative rocks used at my place of work are smooth – some perfectly round – and they roll quite well when forcefully kicked. They also land with a satisfying thud when kicked into decorative patches of ivy.

As I got my rocks off kicked, I ran into (almost literally) a coworker who also shared my frustrations. “Fuck this day,” he said, and I responded by kicking a particularly roll-y rock into a patch of decorative vine-y shit.

Far more satisfying than throwing rocks at trees and missing. In fact, I could have kicked those rocks all day. I wonder how long it would have taken for them to notice I was gone….