After a person loses everything, after a person digs himself out of the rubble of his life, after the dust settles and he can see the sun again there is nothing. Now that I’ve made it to the other side of disease, homelessness (living with my parents, but still), being broken up with, unemployment and the worst of the pain has subsided, I just exist. For five months my life got upended and turned upside down, and now I’m just a normal dude again – almost.
I no longer have cancer. I almost feel like for how serious cancer is, it happened too quickly. I’m a week away from supposedly being fully healed from my surgery, but other than that, I am a healthy ‘young’ man. I now had cancer. Sometimes I want to introduce myself as Dave, I had cancer and I’m an alcoholic; how do you do?
I moved in with a guy who also had cancer. We’re the survivor house. I already know I made a good decision moving in with him. I like the neighborhood with its authentic Portland feel, but close in and there are a number of great places nearby, namely strip clubs. I still have some boxes to unpack, but I did buy my first ever bedding set, so I went from no pillow to four pillows. I am a man of leisure after all.
I’m working a temp job at the travel agency that my mom works at, so it is nice to know I am making a little income while I heal. It has been a little weird going from doing nothing but reading comic books and watching TV to getting up at seven every morning.
I’m single, but I’m kind of okay. I’m friends with the ex and that’s always a strange relationship to have, but it’s also weird to be so close to someone for such a long time and then have nothing to do with her, so I’m happy that it isn’t too weird – yet.
I did sign up for OKCupid a few months earlier than appropriate. I’m not responding to most of the messages I’ve been getting.
The thing about relationships is that I want one. I want to share my life with someone, and I want someone to want the same from me. I don’t necessarily want a wife or a black and white monogamous relationship, but a partner. Someone that is my home.
The older I get the more cynical I am that this is something that is possible. The last woman was perfect except that she just couldn’t. I think that’s what makes it hurt the most is being so close to finding someone who is like home, but still can’t be with me. No matter how much it isn’t about me, it’s about me and how I’m not wanted.
I’m in that post relationship limbo where I’m lonely and not sure where I fit in. It’s compounded by the post cancer experience. I find myself a 38 year old boy too immature for people my age, too old for people younger and not sure that I want to fit in. I just feel like I’m not jiving with anyone right now.
I’m in a complete rebuild. Cancer is something that really shook me to my core and I think it is taking a lot longer to recover from it. A nurse told me that it takes years to shake the emotional distress disease cause. It was easier when I still had cancer to deal with the messy emotions, but now that I had cancer it becomes harder. People tell me I look good and that I handled that well and now what I am going to do.
Now I want time to slow down. It’s going too fast for me. I still am getting used to being in my thirties in the shadow of forty. While it doesn’t help making friends, I’m glad I’m so childish. I don’t want to die a grown-up.
I think a lot of my emotional response is due to my low levels of testosterone. I’ve been getting teary and a lump in my throat seeing cute animals and dramatic commercials. I heard the opening of Mozart’s Requiem and I started crying. I was walking down 12th Avenue in the Pearl District at 9am weeping. All around me are men and women darting in and out of 24 Hour Fitness like bees around their hive.
Welcome to my brand new life.