But that hasn’t happened.
I’m sitting around chewing on what’s left of my fingernails, trapped by a shitty rainy day, and lost in worry about whether my father will even survive an operation that’s SUPPOSED to be happening today. As of this hour, he still hasn’t gone under the knife, and I’m still in a “what if” panic.
Whatever happens in that operating room decides what happens in the next six months of my life far more than any timeline I could write today.
There’s nothing in my head that’s worth extracting today.
There’s no hope or faith, no optimism or belief. There’s just empty pulsating limbo as I wait for life to fill in the blanks for me.
Waiting is criminal. It scars the soul. Hope is the only antidote, but it’s not one I’ve been afforded much of.
The longer this takes, the more I’m adrift in uncertainty, the louder those discordant heartbeats echo inside as wonder floods in and worry takes over.
I’ve been useless today.
When I was waiting for the answer on my book proposal, that was fine. Why? Because I knew the book might be better if I was in fact rejected by the literary agent. No, really.
There’s a much more organic process that comes in creation when you don’t have a deadline or third-party involved. This book of mine should be a journey to places I’ve never been before, and right now I don’t know what that’ll require of me, so I want to explore that and really go there without muddling from others.
Father-who’s-alive versus Father-who’s-not is a pretty big fucking stipulation in how your life unfolds, especially when it’s down to a 24-hour window.
The possibility being this tangible is nothing anyone should experience, but is something we all are faced with. Don’t kid yourself. Your turn is coming.
Grief is an unavoidable process, and, as a creative person, there’s nothing that fucks with the mix greater than the all-consuming end of someone you love’s life.
I can’t be there, I can’t talk to my father, I can’t do a goddamned thing to help.
Some dude a 5,000 kilometres away, who gets to stand there with a scalpel in his hand, HE’S the guy that holds my immediate fate in his hands.
I can’t write a timeline for that. I won’t even fucking consider that Alternative today.
I just know it’s there.
The Possibility. Statistical Likelihood.
Like calling it that is so innocuous. Oh, the “chance” of fatality. Like one might buy a ticket in the hopes it’d go a specific way other than the Usual.
Powerlessness. That’s what I get today. I get to wait, wait, wait, wait. I don’t even get to know when particularly my fingers should be crossed. The ward nurses will get 10 minutes notice, then it’s off to Sliceville for Pops.
I grew up thinking it was a board game.
Now it’s the line between what might be the result for an “average” person with my father’s surgery, and, well, my father. The triple-threat disease cocktail his unhappy body offers is more full of oddsmaking than a weekend in Vegas, man.
And I’m supposed to wait, productively doing what humans productively do. Conjuring little lists of objectives, crossing off achievements, planning for all my tomorrows.
Well, tomorrow might literally give me a completely different life to live. Today I’m spent praying for anything but that.
Sure, the odds of the unexpected climb for each of us daily, but it’s just not the same as when mortality’s literally on the table and giving the prospective outcome causes all professionals involved to lead with a pregnant pause.
Yes, I’ll wait.
I’ll sit here with toxins bubbling in my stomach as fears I know too well return — fears I’ve dealt with from my mother’s passing and my father’s three close calls.
Sure, I’ll wait.