My book is called Hope in the Time of Chemo.
It was what I originally wanted to name my solo play, but Stages won the day. Hope in the Time of Chemo had always been in the back of my mind, however, and as soon as I decided to go through with the book, I immediately knew what I wanted to name it
I was originally drawn to the title because of Love in the Time of Cholera. Not that I’ve ever read the book. Or seen the movie. But the title was so evocative. So powerful. The idea that love is stronger than a disease that has been the cause of seven pandemics since 1817? SEVEN!? Can you imagine? That’s one every 29 years. Or roughly the amount of time it takes me to get Lindsey Graham’s voice out of my head!
(Just did some light googling, and I realize that what I wrote about Love in the Time of Cholera is not what it is about at all. I also realize there is danger in judging a book by its cover, which is exactly what I did. But you know, I like what I came up with. And it works for the metaphor so sue me!)
I did another blog reading on Tuesday night. The first one was for Company-19, last night’s was for Hofstra University and the Zucker School of Medicine. It was great, except for the three times my internet froze. When this whole thing is over, I think I’m going to replace the word Fuck with the word Zoom, considering I say it with roughly the same inflection.
I read for about half an hour and then there was a Q and A. One of the Q’s I had to A was about the word ‘Hope.’ They wanted to know how I managed to maintain it while facing what I face. They were worried that they wouldn’t be able to maintain hope if something like this happened to them.
I appreciated their belief in my strength and resilience, and I don’t want to downplay how I’ve handled this situation. False modesty is just another form of pride. But I also assured them that faced with the same situation, they would be able to handle it. It wasn’t me. It was Jaimie. It was my friends and family. It was God. All working through me. Because as Viktor Frankel said in Man’s Search for Meaning:
“If we can figure out the why, we can manage any how.”
I had to be hopeful. That was how I was going to make it through those six months. I had to know that one day, this was going to end. I had to know I was going to beat this and this would all be worth it.
One of the ways I find things to write about is by doing things.
I know that sounds pretty obvious, but it’s the truth. I’ll spend time with friends or I’ll go somewhere new and next thing you know—boom—I have a blog.
It’s one of the things I’ve learned from my friend Mat Smart. He likes to take trips and every time he does he gets back with a new idea for a play.
Since traveling has been taken away, I’ve taken to looking for the little things in the little things. You know—things like going to the park or the coffee shop or the grocery store.
Oops. There went the first two things on that list. At least there was the grocery store…
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the grocery store. I describe myself as a grocery enthusiast, which is sad because it’s true.
Then South Carolina opened half way up. Then I learned that, apparently, some people think that face masks are a sign of weakness. And then I saw that this coming Monday, despite the fact that we have the lowest testing numbers in the country, despite the fact no other state is doing it, despite the fact the Dr. Fauci warned we would face really serious consequences if we opened too soon, we are doing it anyway.
So Jaimie and I have decided to shut it down. For the next few weeks we are going to do some extra social distancing. We’ll still have our Socially Distanced Saturday Sits in my parents backyard, but we are going to forgo our weekly trips to the grocery store.
Because people are Zooming crazy! A dude who works at Target got his arm broken by two shoppers after he told him them they had to wear a mask. I read a post on social media that a friend of mine had gotten yelled at for wearing her mask in her car. In her car! I read that and was so outraged that I begged for a Mother-Zoomer to do that to me. Then imagine being an African American. They get followed and harassed in Zooming stores on a good day, now they have to wear a mask? Imagine how that must feel to them!
So we’re locking it down. We’re pulling it back. I wanted to tell you, just in case you read my blog and think it’s weird that it’s turned into a deep dive on Season Two of Schitt’s Creek.
Better that than just saying Zoom it.