I’d be burning it too!
For the third day in a row I was up at 5:00 (4:24 this morning, in fact).
I go to bed excited to get up the next morning, drink coffee, and get going! Last night, out at dinner, my brother pointed out that I’ve always said, and had a “you can sleep when you’re dead!” type attitude. These days it’s literal!
As I got out of bed this morning, Hill said “baby, go back to sleep.. sleep is important.. you need it.” Undoubtedly she’s right. But I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. I have beautiful medium format transparencies to scan from when I was up in Vermont. I have black and white rolls that need to be processed. I have bikes that need to be prepared for the bike cult hand built show coming up on labor day weekend (and a display to build!). I have photos to organize and put up on the photo website for sale for this week. I have pill flasks to finish. (I have book-keeping from 2012 that needs to be done.. gag..). I have dinner to plan tonight for the bike show organizers. I have blog post to write! The thing is.. It’s ALL stuff I want to do (except the book keeping). Christmas!! There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. I promised Hill that I would have a nap this afternoon.
I think this is what they call mania. And I think I love it!
I do my best thinking early in the morning. I really do love being awake for the sunrise, whether I’m able to see it or not. Just to be up as it gets light out.
Lately I have been on fire.
In the interest of the spirit of honesty and frankness that has driven this blog from the start, I have decided to leave the beginning of this post just as it is. Yesterday I hit the wall. In a big way. In the morning while in manic frenzy, I worked a bit on the post, took Putney for a long walk, developed a roll of film, scanned some photos.. picked out photos for this week’s offering, and eventually, much later than usual, got to my every other day emptying out ritual, and somehow, by the end of it (I’d been awake already for 8 hours by this point) began to feel super drowsy. But in an uncomfortable desperate way. It had been my plan to do the dreaded book-keeping and THEN get out to the shop to work on pill flasks, all before making a trip to the grocery store to get everything I needed to cook for the bike show guys. But I was sitting there in the bathroom.. my ablution ritual office all set up.. falling asleep at the keyboard as my guts did what they do when assaulted by liters of water.
The night before I had been in a lot of pain. Had needed to take quite a lot of break through medication to get on top of it. Had woken up at 4:00 or so, partly because of that pain and by 4:24 had decided that I might as well just get up and get to work.
Last Sunday, the day that I did the printing of the panda portrait that I sold last week, and made green chile for the Sunday night dinner crowd (all with the help of my dear friend Miye and Sister Mary), I looked down during my morning shower and noticed something strange. I noticed that I could, in fact, SEE a tumor. The point here isn’t to freak anyone out.. allthough.. I’m a little freaked out myself, to be honest.. but, I could see running along the line of my inguinal ligament towards the base of my penis a swollen area that I had NOT noticed before. Right in that crease that forms as you sit down. There is a predominant lymph node there, or some sort of node or gland.. but this seemed a little different. Looking down, I could SEE extra tissue. “Well, THAT’S, fucking weird.” I pressed on the thing.. Not painful, but clearly extra tissue. I had a sudden wave of.. well. I’m not sure what to call it.
I have been feeling SO good. I have been on this manic, productive, creative tear. The hospice team has been doing SUCH a good job of making me feel like myself that I was beginning to wonder whether the whole thing was just some elaborate prank being played on me. Shit, I was supposed to be dead a month or so ago, and instead I’m out in the woods making bike trails and riding again, and working in the shop, and playing the best pool of my life.
So the way life does it, along came the reminder. “Oh no, Ezra, we assure you that this is quite real.. and the really ugly part is on its way. The part where you begin to become deformed. Where you get the grapefruit sized tumors that you’ve heard of other people carrying around with them.. Let’s see you spin that! Make THAT beautiful. You may FEEL great right now, but we promise, this disease IS advancing.”
By the time I had printed photos on Sunday and labeled envelopes and cooked dinner, I was pretty emotionally spent. All day long this fucking visible tumor had been in the forefront of my mind. I put food on the table and sneaked away to go upstairs and take a break for a moment. I had been at work across the kitchen counter from a Sunday night guest that I had just met for the first time, whose mouth was moving a lot, and I got the sense that really interesting things were coming out of it and that I should be listening and responding and I simply didn’t have the focus. Half way up the stairs to our bedroom I started to sob.
Perhaps these last few days of waking up at 5 in the morning are just a reflection of a new even more intense sense of urgency. I have things to do, damn it! But I don’t quite have the fuel. Yesterday I ran out. I hit the wall. I finished my morning water rites, barely keeping my eyes open, reported to Hill that I wasn’t feeling terribly well, and I went to bed to take the nap I’d already promised her I would. Fighting even then to do a little work on the computer first. I fell asleep hard for a few hours. Woke up just in time to go do the dinner shopping and get home for the bike show boys.
This morning, Hill and I are up early again. We’re hopping on Metro North and heading up to Westchester to ride mountain bikes. We’re aiming to make it back to the city by mid day so that Hill can get to an important meeting. I wrote yesterday to my hospice doc (while still in my water park office), who called me back almost immediately to set up an appointment. I’ll see her this afternoon. She’ll have a look at me. She wants to change the pain protocol. She feels that a different solution is somewhat inevitable, and doesn’t want to wait until I am in a real crisis state to get it in place. I feel totally safe and sound in her hands. She is young and smart and makes herself very available to us. A friend.
I will do a little work on the train ride up to Westchester to prepare the photos for this week, and I will make them available early afternoon. It is a “monkey business” set. A set of photos that I hope captures some of the madcap sense of joyful creative surge that I’ve been feeling. Old pictures, but ones that were driven by a… well. You’ll see. I hope you like them.
Now. Off to prepare bikes and bodies to get out in woods and enjoy what looks to be an absolutely perfect day in this part of the world.
More mid day.
Fast boy OUT.
Back from our ride. It was amazing!! HILL IS AMAZING! We’re going to have a very fun fall.
Pictures for this week are now up!