Going to Wal Mart sucks when you have cancer. I find it horrible under normal circumstances but faced with my own mortality seems to make it doubly depressing. I was there yesterday because my girlfriend had to pick up a few things for work and wanted me to go with her. The whole time I was like- “This is how I’ve chosen to spend what may or may not be my remaining time? At Wal Mart? Might as well take me now.”
It raised an interesting question for me: what the fuck should I be doing during this time?
Should I be doing anything I don’t want to do? Should I become the most selfish person on the planet? Should I go to the DMV or Old Navy ever again in my life? Should I ever run another errand? I mean would anyone blame me? Fuck an oil change, I’ve got cancer. And if you think I’m spending one more second at Jiffy Lube you are mental.
What exactly should I be doing? Should it be nothing but tacos and baseball and playing tennis with my girlfriend all the live long day? Instead of worrying about bills should I be sitting in a leather recliner, watching sunsets and staring at the moon? Should I let the details of day to day life go by the wayside while I grab a Tommy Bahama chair, make a beeline for the Isle of Palms and bury my feet permanently in the sand?
It’s hard to know because this thing I’ve got could take me down or I could beat it and live another 40 or 50 years. And if I live each day like it’s my last now are things going to be boring AF when I beat cancer and life goes back to normal? Will I be sitting at a job going:
Remember when I had cancer and didn’t give a shit. Those were the days.
End of Play
Those were my thoughts as we left Wal Mart to drive to..wait for it…True Value. To make keys. And then to…yep that’s right… Office Depot. To buy water. But as I was loading those big jugs into the back of my Mercury Sable, and as we crossed the last thing off our To Do list, my girlfriend said “ok, now let’s have some fun.” So we went back to our apartment and played tennis. I made a yummy shrimp pasta while she worked on a jig saw puzzle. And later that night I worked on the Sunday crossword while the Cubs game was on in the background.
You can’t have love without loss.
You can’t have joy without despair.
And you can’t have that amazing feeling of contentment that comes with eating shrimp pasta and watching baseball with your girlfriend without first standing in the middle of the yarn aisle at Wal Mart.