driving back from my first visit to the neurologist in pasadena. (she was amazing — maybe the best doctor i’ve ever had — but she was wrong. she spoke with near-absolute certainty when she said she was sure i didn’t have a brain tumor. sure it was MS. some medicine, some rehab, and i’d get back to my life. wrong and shocked and forthright. didn’t mince words. just came right out and told us: “my dear, you have a brain tumor.” i cried, but only briefly. i haven’t cried since. i don’t really feel like crying. there’s too much to be done to cry. also, i’m afraid that if i crack, everyone else will, too, and i can’t have that. i need everyone not to crack.)
so, driving back from my first visit to the neurologist, the one during which she assured me there was no brain tumor, the first song on the CD that happened to be in my car’s CD player came on. “game called life,” by leftover cuties. walker quickly turned it off, and i didn’t know why until i listened to the lyrics again later, this time driving with my parents back from my second visit to the neurologist in pasadena, the one during which she told me, shocked, “my dear, you have a brain tumor.”
he whistles, and she sings, “it’s so hard to turn your life over. step out of your comfort zone. it’s so hard to choose one direction. when your future is unknown. is this some kind of a joke? will someone wake me up soon? and tell me this was just a game we play, called life?…and at, at the end of the road, is there someone waiting? do i get a medal for surviving this long?”
the whistler is my neighbor, austin. he and his girlfriend, katie, have a dog named zeke. my grandparents have a dog named zeke. my grandpa also has cancer. (wish this didn’t have to be something else on my grandma’s plate. wish this didn’t have to be something else on anyone’s plate.) leftover cuties is austin’s band. we watched them play the song live a few months ago at first fridays on abbot kinney. it gets weirder, though. when i went to youtube to look up the song lyrics to write them out, i discovered that “game called life” was chosen as the theme song for the new showtime show, the big c, in which laura linney has — guess what? — cancer!
is this some kind of a joke? will someone wake me up soon? and tell me this was just a game we play, called life?