Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Sunday, December 09, 2012  
So here's something I learned: It's possible to have both bacterial and viral pneumonia. At the same time. I learned this because that biological quirk is going on inside me.

It started as a pesky cough that turned into laryngitis that turned into bronchitis. I went to a clinic and was diagnosed with bronchitis, given an antibiotic and cough medicine (with codeine! yay!) and sent on my way. A week of the antibiotics and cough medicine later, I still had the nasty cough and laryngitis and was getting fever spikes into the 100s and fluids were coming out of every orifice (I know, sexy, especially combined with the laryngitis that made me sound like Fran Drescher). My asthma inhaler wasn't helping the coughing fits any more than the cough medicine (with codeine!) was, so off I schlepped to the clinic again where a doctor did a chest x-ray and said, "Ahhh, you have the bacterial pneumonia bug that's going around. Here's more antibiotic. Go to bed. Drink clear fluids."

A week after that, the fever stopped spiking and just stayed around 100°. When I slept the clock through and other people, people sitting across a room from me, could hear a rattle in my chest, I was encouraged to see my actual doctor. So I did. And she took cultures and blood and urine samples and x-rays and yadda yadda yadda I had "regular" pneumonia. She didn't question the bacterial pneumonia, she suspects I had it but the antibiotic didn't touch it and it turned into the kind of pneumonia one develops when one is sick with something else.

I knew I was sick but I didn't think I was that sick.

And.

I knew I was depressed, but I didn't know I was so depressed that a diagnosis of two types of pneumonia a) didn't scare or concern me, and would instead b) give me a glimmer of hope as a golden opportunity. People die from just one type of pneumonia. I had a couple previous bouts that landed me in hospital beds. Surely someone with two types of pneumonia doesn't stand a chance of survival.

For the first time in three years I felt like I could relax. "This is it, Trill, the number of your days is dwindling fast. A week, maybe two. No more anxiety about finding a job or being homeless or, well, anything. And without suicide. This is a gift. Maybe there is a God because this is looking like a mercy kill. Since your days are very numbered if you want to get right with God you better start now."

I know what you're thinking and to you I say: Spend a couple weeks in my life and then we'll talk. The rejection and failure in every aspect of my life has ravaged me. I'm certain it's taken a physical toll, which had me in a weakened state and vulnerable to every bug and not strong enough to recover. This was an out, the most graceful exit possible for someone my age. I went to sleep hopeful, content, that very soon I wouldn't wake up. Ever.

Or so I thought. So I hoped.
 
But.

It's kinda looking like I beat both types of pneumonia. The fever has abated. The brown stuff I was coughing up started coming up green and then not at all. The weird sweat that hurt as it came out of my pores has stopped coming out of my pores. I can sit upright without getting dizzy. I still sound like Fran Drescher, but every now and then I sound more like Demi Moore, so, you know, that's an improvement.

I should be happy, right?

I'm not. I even failed at dying from pneumonia. This is a new low for me. Those days/nights I was off in la la land of pneumonia sleep were the most blissful I've had in years. I dreamt dreams the details of which I can't recall, but in them I felt free and content. When I awoke I was disappointed and couldn't wait to fall back to sleep so I could get back to that free, content state of mind. Maybe it was the copious amount of medication I was taking...or maybe it was the acceptance that I had been handed a ticket out in the form of a mercy kill.

I thought about whether or not I was ready to die. I thought about unfinished business and realized I have very little unfinished business. I felt bad about leaving my mother. I knew she'd be upset. Sad, pathetic and deplorable though it may be for someone my age, that was pretty the sum total of my  unfinished business. Well, that and deciding if there is a God to get right with before I die.

I'd like to say, from a position of healing, that this experience gave me insight and imbued me with a new lust for life or plan or sense of being with the Universe or even just good ol' time religion.

But it didn't.

I'm mainly just more depressed. (See above, I even fail at dying.)

Sure, I have a new badge of honor: I beat two kinds of pneumonia at the same time! For an asthmatic that's no small feat. And I did it without the benefit of health insurance or government healthcare.

During the worst of it, my mother was telling friends and family about how sick I was. My mother told me they consoled her with, "Trill's tough as nails, she's beat this before, she'll be okay." "That girl has a cast iron will, she'll be fine."She'll be fine, she's so strong, she can endure anything." "She's so, how do you phrase it, uh, determined, she won't let this get the best of her." "She'll be okay, she's resilient, she's a tough cookie, it takes a lot more than pneumonia to knock her out of the ring." I'm pretty sure my mother passed their comments onto me as a way to reassure herself, and remind me, that I am a tough cookie and it takes more that two types of pneumonia to knock me out of the ring.

As for the determination and strong will, it's true, I have both. But. What those people don't realize is that it works the other way, too. They assume I have a will to live. Someone like me who has a will to live will conquer illnesses out of sheer determination and, yes, stubbornness. But someone like me who does not have a will to live won't fight, because there is no fight, no reason to fight, and that same steadfast mindset works in that direction, as well.

I was pretty sure I didn't have much will to live, before this, I mean, sheesh, who would want to live my life(?) - or at least I was struggling to find a purpose to live, therefore didn't have much will to live - but when I was diagnosed with the second type of pneumonia I was so jubilant at the prospect of a mercy kill that I finally knew, had proof, that I lack a will to live.

People who don't care about dying, paradoxically, often lead the most interesting lives. No fear of death/failure = no boundaries/limits. Me? I just want out without having to put my mother through the aftermath of a suicide.

In the Hallmark channel version of this chapter, just as I'm about to go to sleep for the last time I receive a phone call with a job offer and after the commercial break I'm loving life with a new job and some guy who's fallen in love with me and I pause to think, poignantly, about how close I was to giving up and what a wonderful thing it was that I didn't because just look what was right around the corner.

There are people out there who live Hallmark channel versions of life. I know a few of them. But I am not one of them. I used to believe that setting goals and making plans to meet those goals and working hard to follow the plans and sticking with it no matter how long it took meant success at some point. Or at least not total failure. Yeah, well, I don't think I need to tell you that I have learned, repeatedly, that's not true.

Anyway.

I'm on the mend and sounding less like Fran Drescher every day.

So now I have to go back to dealing with life. Which sucks.

Because I was dealing with some difficult stuff before I got sick.


***

It was determined that Frankie's cancer would/could best be treated at a specific treatment facility in Arizona. Her treatments required the insertion of radioactive pods into her vagina. Most women I know aren't exactly keen on inserting things other than penes or tampons in our vaginae. (admittedly I don't know anyone in the porn industry) And quite frankly, we're not always thrilled with penes or tampons being shoved in there. We endure a doctor guided speculum once a year and the occasional battery operated pleasure device, but I don't know any women who actively want miscellaneous items in their vaginae. Maybe I just travel in a prudent circle of women. But Frankie is in the circle of women. And the prospect of doctors she doesn't know sticking radioactive pods in her vagina sounded like an alien abduction horror movie.   

Frankie is a tough cookie. That girl can beat anything by will and wits. So when I heard fear in her voice I knew she was staring down a formidable foe.

When she asked me to go through the first round of treatment with her I knew there wasn't a choice.

I cashed in air miles and two days later flew to Arizona. I'm reasonably certain the original germ that would turn into bacterial pneumonia found its way into my body somewhere over Kansas. I arrived in Arizona in the afternoon, Benjy met me at the airport, we drove to the treatment center where they had a sort of hotel room, a sort of new age Ronald McDonald House for the patients and families of patients.

We went out for dinner and during an after dinner drink Benjy noted that my voice was sounding like Lauren Bacall's. I attributed it to the sudden change of humidity because I felt okay, I just had a slightly hoarse voice. Our waiter interjected, "oooo, sexy, Lauren Bacall has a very sexy voice, lucky you!"

Frankie said, "It's just her daily habit of a fifth of Jack and a couple packs of Camel Reds catching up with her. That's why we're here at the cancer treatment center."

For a second the waiter looked mortified. Good ol' Frankie. If anyone can joke about cancer, she's the gal.

The waiter then got all puppy eyed and said, "I'm so sorry. The center's really good, though, you came to the right place."

I felt bad for the guy so I said, "She's joking, having a little fun at my expense," his relief was palpable but I quickly continued, "I mean really, Jack Daniels? I drink Oban and smoke cubans." 

And so the night went. By the end of the night I really did sound like I've been on a daily fifth of Jack and Camel Red regime for several years.

The next morning we rose early and took a walk on the walking path around the treatment center. I felt okay but had no voice above a raspy whisper. They booked Frankie for a pre-procedure massage and facial so she left for those appointments. (Part of their treatment is to treat patients like guests, not patients. It's all very Yanni and hot stone massages, that is until they wheel the "guests" in for their cancer surgeries/procedures/treatments, and then it's all typical medical until the guest is well enough for healing therapies.) You know, whatever. It beats the sterility and lack of personal attention at a regular hospital. And it gave the three of us a lot to mock and a lot of laughs. Benjy and I watched Dr. Who DVD while Frankie had her spa treatments.

When it was time for her to go to her first treatment session, there was a knock on the door and Frankie appeared in what can only be described as the Australian shuffleboard team uniform. A white wind suit made of soft, flowing white fabric with her name and the name of the facility embroidered in gold, gold trim on the seams, her hair pulled back from her face in a head wrap/sweat band thing a la an '80s Olivia Newton John video, a pony tail held by a matching white and gold Scrunchie, and slippers designed to look like sneakers - white with gold trim to match the rest of the ensemble. (I've known Frankie a lot of years. If she has ever owned a scrunchie she kept it very well hidden.) Seeing her in a wheel chair was difficult. I'm certain I would have broken down and sobbed were it not for that outfit she was wearing which was hilarious.

They gave Frankie a tote bag full of sample spa products that were carcinogen-free. There was also personal "treatment journey" binder full of Frankie's health dossier and information about her cancer, her doctors and her "journey" thusfar. And there was a "treatment journey" journal where Frankie could jot down her thoughts, they suggested she do this because it would be "emotionally and spiritually enlightening" before, during and after her treatment. And the local chamber of commerce didn't miss the marketing opportunity. Many local businesses offered their warm wishes and welcome to the patients and their families. A local Hallmark store supplied a fancy pen attached to a get well card (and 15% off coupon!) so Frankie would have a way to scribe her "treatment journey" journal entries. A book store supplied a book called, "Healing Bodies, Hearts and Minds," with a bookmark that doubled as a 10% off coupon. A church group supplied a small bible and offered ministry to families and patients. And coupons to local restaurants and attractions including a free day pass at a local golf course and 30% off in the pro shop. And there was something that looked like it could pass for an odd version of the aforementioned battery operated personal pleasure device. (There was no discount coupon or store's card attached, so I presumed it was from the treatment center and given the nature of Frnakie's cancer and what was going to happen in her vagina, I was slightly concerned about its purpose and what I might be called upon to do with it in the name of helping with her treatment. I mean, I love Frankie and we're very close but its not like, you know, that kind of love and we're not that close. I drew a mental line in the sand. Whatever that thing was, it was going to have to fall squarely in the husband-of-the-patient's jurisdiction.) So. Yes. They gave her a cancer treatment center swag bag.

It also contained several brochures about the various aspects of her cancer and the treatment she's receiving.

The nurse suggested that I bring the tote bag because it contained some things Frankie might want during her treatment session. If I ever decide to be a stand up comedian, the contents of that bag supplied me with enough material for a years long career.

When the nurse heard my raspy, obviously laryngitised voice, she said, "We prefer our guests to not be exposed to colds, flu, that sort of thing." 

Frankie tried the fifth of Jack and Camel Reds routine on the nurse but the nurse found no humor in it. She summoned the aid of helper who arrived shockingly fast with a stack of surgical masks. He handed them to her, and she handed them to me with a stern warning: "Wear one of these at all times and do not touch Frankie."

I put one on and rasped out, "Okay, all set!" When I said it, the closeness of the mask caught me off guard and when I inhaled I sucked a good portion of the mask into my mouth.

Frankie laughed. Hard. I thought she was laughing at my ineptitude with the surgical mask, but when she could get a few words out between giggles she said, "Now. you." giggle. "sound like" giggle "the, the," giggle "the elephant man!" 

For some reason (fear? anxiety? immaturity?) Frankie, Benjy and I all found this wildly amusing and cracked up all the way down the corridor, me interjecting in my muffled, raspy whisper voice, "I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being!" The nurse was not amused. But it occurred to me that if me wearing a surgical mask that made me sound like the elephant man made Frankie laugh, then fine, I would run with it.

I'll spare you the details about the procedure. See above, radioactive vagina.

Part of the treatment plan includes post-treatment spiritual recovery time. You can have one of the religious leaders come to visit with you or you can have personal meditation time or "some patients find quiet reflection with family and friends to be spiritually refreshing." Frankie chose that one. Benjy and Frankie had some couple time and I made myself scarce. But then my phone rang and Benjy said Frankie wanted me to come hang out with her. Benjy and I weren't sure how Frankie was really feeling, because I've never had radioactive anything shoved into my vagina (or anywhere else) and Benjy doesn't even have a vagina, so, you know, we had zero clue how one might feel after having radioactive pods shoved up your vagina. I read the pamphlets but they only served to make my reaction to the whole thing more wide-eyed.

I returned to the spiritual recovery room and found Frankie reclining in an overstuffed lounge chair. The room was dimly lit by glowing crystals here and there and amber hued nightlights. Lots of copper and wood and terra cotta sculptures. There was a waterfall wall and faint "relaxing sounds of meditation" type music playing.

Okay here's the thing. I appreciate the efforts made to comfort patients and I agree that sterile hospitals do not lend themselves to peaceful, relaxing healing. And I'm sure many patients, erm, "guests" find that environment very calming and spiritually restorative or enlightening or whatever. And for that sort of thing it was tastefully executed. And I know meditation or prayer is a huge factor in recovering from illness. I'm not laughing at the efforts made. I'm truly not.

I'm laughing at how out of character and out of place Frankie, Benjy and I are in that sort of environment. Fishes out of water doesn't even begin to cover it. Especially with Frankie wearing the Australian shuffleboard team uniform and me wearing a surgical mask.

Frankie told me she sent Benjy to play golf. "I'm fine, he's uncomfortable with all this, he might as well relax his own way so I told him to go golfing. I feel like I need a little girly time anyway."

I couldn't tell her that I was uncomfortable with all this. From the time I found out about her cancer I vowed I had to deal with it, put aside any fears, concerns or whatever else I might feel, in the name of Frankie. It's not about me, it's about her, and she would come first no matter how upset or scared or awkward or whatever, however, I felt about it. My tears and fears would have to be confined and dealt with in my own alone time because the rest of the time I vowed to be positive, strong and helpful for Frankie. Fake it 'til you make it and all that.

In my raspy, muffled voice I said, "If by 'girly time' you mean some sort of pseudosensual awakening in the form of a kinky sexual encounter with whatever that thing in the tote bag is, I'm telling you right here and right now I'm having no part of it."

Frankie used her best porn bimbo voice, "It's just that with that sexy voice of yours I'm feeling things...new things..."

"Yeah, I'm guessing you are feeling new things after having a radioactive pod shoved up your vagina."

More laughs.

"So, speaking of new things in your vagina...I was reading some of the information they gave you. This pamphlet says you should abstain from vaginal intercourse for 8 weeks. The fact that they devote an entire pamphlet to this topic says to me that there are a) women who feel like having intercourse less than 8 weeks after this procedure, and b) there are men willing to oblige. Which puts an entirely new spin on the Love Canal."

Fortunately Frankie thought that was funny and ran with it. Unfortunately, laughing that hard made me cough. Which made the nurse come into the room and pull me out into the hall for a smackdown about how, if I cared for my friend, I wouldn't be around her with my illness. I think she was just mad that we were laughing about radioactive vaginae and sex in the spiritual recovery room.

Yadda yadda yadda I was on a flight the next morning. The plan was for me to stay at least a couple more days, but the nurse was right, I obviously had some sort of bug (ha! little did I know at the time that I had bacterial pneumonia) and Frankie certainly didn't need that. I was worried I'd already infected them with whatever it was I had (again, at that time I had zero clue how serious it was).

I felt bad about getting sick and leaving early. Guilty. I let down my friend when she needed me most. Of course I couldn't help that I got sick, but still, I felt horrible about leaving her in the middle of cancer treatment.

And I felt helpless. When she asked me to be with her during her treatment I felt like I'd been summoned to duty. I felt like I was doing something for her. Which is the thing about dealing with a loved one who's ill: There's a lot of feeling helpless. Because you are helpless in terms of helping your loved one. So when there's something you can do, be it running errands or just spending a few hours with them, you feel empowered, you feel like maybe somehow if you do their laundry or listen to them complain about their doctors or help decipher medication protocols or take them just the right book to read that you've helped, you lifted a burden which allowed them to rest easier which helps healing and soon they'll be well again and that's what you want more than anything for your loved one. Get the feeling I've been through this one too many times already? Yeah. I have.

I still wasn't feeling awful, I just had no voice.

There was a lot of pacing, drinking of tea, eating Melba toast and peanut butter and listening to a lot of Lloyd Cole.

Frankie had difficulty understanding me over the phone - my voice fading in and out and squeak-rasping - so we Skyped, thinking it would be easier for her to decipher what I was saying if she could see me. I was a little nervous about this because the last thing she needed was to see me looking the way one looks when one has spent a week pacing, drinking tea, eating Melba toast and peanut butter and listening to a lot of Lloyd Cole. I "did" my hair and makeup in preparation for our Skype visits. She looked okay. A little tired, but okay. They were treating her well there - spa treatments, yoga and T'ai chi sessions, aromatherapy - were it not for her nuclear vagina the whole thing seemed like a vacation. As she deemed it, a very boring vacation, but a vacation. I realize that's the point of that sort of treatment facility, however knowing how serious her cancer was juxtaposed against the resort vacation atmosphere it's more than a little incongruous and messes with your expectations for cancer treatment.

Her counselor suggested that she tally up all the things she had done in life and all the things she still wanted to do. Frankie said she rolled her eyes at the suggestion of a bucket list, it was so cliché, but when she and Benjy talked about it they realized they'd already done a lot of what they want to do in life. Frankie said this was a bit of a rude awakening for her, for them, and that they needed to figure out some new pursuits so that they had goals and plans and a reason to fight cancer.

I was surprised to hear her say that. For Frankie, cancer was reason enough to fight cancer. Or so I thought. But there she was, thinking of things to do so that she'd have a reason to fight cancer.

And then, one afternoon she told me her "team" said she was doing great and thought she could go home earlier than planned. Good thing, she said, because she and Benjy had developed quite a long to-do list and the sooner they got out of there, the sooner they could start making plans for their goals.

The pacing, tea, Melba toast and peanut butter days were over! And maybe it hadn't been too much Lloyd Cole after all.

I, on the other hand, was "finally" feeling sick. Up to that point I felt okay, I just sounded awful. Then suddenly, the afternoon of the news that Frankie was going home early, it was as if my body heard my voice and said, "Wow, we sound awful, we must be really sick, better kick the symptoms into high gear," and it was a descent into the pneumonia experience.

At one point, when I was tallying up unfinished business, I thought about whether or not Frankie needed me, if I needed to stick around for her. Yes, inasmuch as any of us need our friends, Frankie needs me, but she has a terrific husband. No, he's not a girl friend and no, he doesn't render me useless to Frankie, but, Frankie was, is, beating cancer. Frankie has new goals and plans. I, on the other hand, had 1) my mother. And that was pretty much it. Sure, I'd like to meet a real Longshoreman, and a native Lichtensteinian, heck, a native Idahoan, but that's not the sort of unfinished business that pushes you through an illness. "No! I cannot die yet because I have never met a real Longshoreman! Or anyone from Idaho!" is not the sort of battle cry you hear ringing out from sick beds. Like Frankie, I've accomplished a lot. Sure, I've failed a lot, but failing a lot means I've tried a lot, taken chances, and learned from a lot of mistakes. Yay me.

So. Yeah. Whatever. It was a different chapter than expected for that section in the book. Frankie's going to be okay and that's what matters.

12:22 AM

 
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