Beleive in Towarding

 woke up thinking of Arlo Gutherie’s lovely warm song “City of New Orleans.”

 

Good morning America, how are you. Hey don’t you know me, I’m your native son.”

 

Yes, year ago I took a train to New Orleans. I was having some grapefruit and watching the scenary go by, and th black porter came over to me and said, “Put salt on it.” I did. “Makes it sweeter doesn’t it.”

So I wake up with hair falling out of my head from my second round of chemo. The strands of my legs muscles feel liike taut rubber bands trying to bend me against myself. My head feeling waterlogged and gassed. When I get up and walk it’s like I’m hanging upside down and my legs are barely getting any traction from the air. That’s how I walk, upside down in a right-up world as my hair parts away from me.

Good morning America, how are you. Hey don’t you know me, I’m your native son.”

 

I believed in that spirit, Believed. I never listened to anyone who told me otherwise. I took the journey, the journey shaped me, the journey rewarded me, the journey challenged me, and the journey beckons. I believed in the voices, the voices.

 

Good morning America, how are you. Hey don’t you know me, I’m your native son.”

 

Yes, I believed in the song, Believed in Kerouac and going cross-country, Believed Chicago was the biggest small town, Believed in going through the Northwest–Seattle, Tacoma, Portland. Believed in Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, James Branch Cabell, Steinbeck, Dreiser, Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau. Believed In Grant, Sherman, Washington, and Lincoln. Believed in San Antonio, Austin, Almagordo. Believed in Santa Fe, Taos, Henrietta (Oklahoma) Believed in Hialeah, Miami, Key West. Believed in New York City. Believed in Freehold, NJ.

 

But I believed the most in California. Ah, where I knew I could grow the best as a comedian in the wide-open world of San Francisco, and that surfing was going to shape me into a wave of life to ride, and harvesting grapes and drinking the nectar of a harvest. And the love of friends and finding love.

I believed in that spirit, Believed. I never listened to anyone who told me otherwise. Believed in Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, WC fields, Laurel and Hardy, Groucho, Rickles. Believed in funny, Believed. .I took the journey, the journey shaped me, the journey rewarded me. The journey challenged me, mocked me. And the journey beckons. I believed in the voices, the voices. I didn’t betray the voices or the journey. And so my shadow settles warmly across my path instead of dragging behind me, trolling for bitterness.

 

 

Good morning America, how are you. Hey don’t you know me, I’m your native son.”

 

 

Chemo seeps into me, soaking into my fibers, searching to those malignant dust motes of cancer that can turn death into a perfect storm. Some might get depressed about losing hair and getting weaker and thinner, but all it does is harden my resolve, because I have a journey in me that will go further than the dead-end of settling for the present. The weakness trying to peel me away can’t strip away what’s in my soul—comedy in my blood is stronger than cancer. I’m running leaner and meaner and laughing between the tear drops. I’ve taken this cancer journey twice before. Again, I journey I choose! hair drops, feet drag, tears form, but I keep moving towards, towards–well, towarding.

 

 

So today, I rise, and look for the salt to make this day taste sweeter.

 

 

Good morning America, how are you. Hey don’t you know me, I’m your native son.”