Today's NASA image is a bit strange. Not sure I like the "Martian spring". So, I was trying to think about what to write. I've had some unproductive days & today I feel really disappointed in the leaders of my home state of Virginia. First, they are taking hundreds of millions from public schools, second, they completely got rid of the ban on discriminating (in layman's terms, being harassed daily by your good ol' boy co-workers) against homosexual state employees, and third, wanting to "opt out" of the Health Care Reform Bill. What happened to my blue state? I hope I don't do anything drastic once I'm better. I'm so mad at these horrible, closed-minded leaders. OH -- and fourth, passing a bill honoring Pat Robertson as some sort of legendary citizen or something. Am I the only one who knows about his Liberian gold mines? Ugh. I need to be inspired people!
I'm mad. Or maybe moodiness is a side effect. I have to say, I'm not sure how this anti-seizure drug Dilantin ever got approved. It's like poison. The side effects are nasty and I seem to have all of them. Even some of the rare ones. I empathize with anyone who needs it for epilepsy. It will be lowered in a few days, I can't wait! I can barely type right now because of it, double vision, fatigue.
At the same time I'm thinking of two guys I've known who have gone into the great beyond. One overdosed on heroin in Seattle on his birthday (9/22/07). Our family had our going away party (we were leaving Missoula, Montana), that night & a friend from work came over and we joked about him, she said she had called him, or was going to. We talked about what a dork he was (we both adored him) while looking at pictures of him on her cell. The next morning when Ethan told me, I immediately cried out "suicide -- he hated his parents -- what day would you pick if you hated them!". Those close to him thought it was accidental, so I've mellowed. But if you've ever done heroin before, quit it (for a decade) and move to Seattle of all places, seek it out, how will it end this time? We had gone to Seattle earlier in April (Zoo for the girls, some flash work at Madam Lazonga's Tattoo for me, aquarium for the girls, visiting Kurt Cobain's house for me, so 90s), and I had tried before the trip to contact this friend but he had changed his number. I could have asked my co-worker, but I didn't. I didn't try. Then he died that fall.
And then there's Ernie, who I mentioned in my last post. I had no idea what was happening, or had been happening to him, which was fighting these rare kinds of brain tumors for the last eight years. Chemo, radiation, Gamma Knife, being studied...my first thought after reading his March 17, 2010 entry was "I feel like such a jerk, my blog is all "no anxiety, except for that time I lost my basket at Target". I know, I know, I didn't know Ernie was going through this, but if I did, maybe I would have been writing things less flippantly.
Besides going on many a band trip with Ernie (CHS Marching band), I just had this affection for him, even since middle school. He was one of my most favorite people, an upperclassman who never snubbed you, always smiling, goofy, never angry. I don't even remember if it was middle or high school, but kids used to "trade" Swatch watches for a week or two. There were so many different kinds going around, & I always preferred the men's size. I think I had the comet one (my first was the clear see-through one but it yellowed!), which had come out for Halley's Comet. But he had the style of all styles: the Keith Haring one with the dancing figures around the face, red and yellow. I was really into Andy Warhol for a time so I knew Keith Haring, and I prayed and prayed Ernie would forget I had it. Nope. I had to give it back. Bummer. I think the only time we had been in touch since his graduation was when I asked (via Facebook) if he still had it & he was like "are kidding? I still troll eBay for other ones but they are so expensive!" (Actually there aren't even many on eBay, (and none like his) I just checked.) I just wish he'd told me about his blog. But you know, he was either private or didn't want sympathy. I was almost a stranger.
In December 2009, he got blood work done and was later told he had NO platelets. The doctor basically told him "quarantine yourself, you can't get a cold". While trying to find out the cause, he got a biopsy (bone marrow? but my short term memory has become very fuzzy from meds). On February 24, 2010, the day after my brain surgery, he got the news his sample was malignant, and it was leukemia. 2-6 months to live. I wish I had gotten in touch sooner of course, but knowing late is better than not knowing at all. Imagine going to his FB profile, not paying attention to other postings and writing "What's up Ernie? How ya been?" What a jerk I would be, man.
So there are two stories, equally tragic. The difference being that one of them really wanted to live, and had been fighting to live for EIGHT years. The other really did not, and while I still love him (but not his addiction) I am still mad at him. What a waste...(fill in the blank movie buffs (is this really a word?)).
Rest easy you two -- never forgotten.