Home on the De-Ranged

A walk through the cratered and dried terrain that's the No Man's Land in the Chemo-Cancer war zone, the atmosphere is thick and heavy, and the sky streaked with gray, and the sun a dark orb. Alongside me is the world of bud-breaking grape vines, the salt-tinged air of waves on the beach, the smell of roasting coffee, freshly cut grass, and baking bread. That world leeches into me, but I'm not completely in it. I can only smell it, and it draws me back to wanting to go home--not the home I have now, but a different home, the home of Mom and Dad...that's what I would like right now.

I'd walk in wearing my short hair. The chemo take-out snack box , attached to my port, slightly strained. And there would be Mom in the kitchen making perogis because she knew I was coming home, and Dad was sitting in his chair reading a history book. They were reitred and living in a condo and seeing movies together and happy. Cancer took them away from me. But I feel a longing to be in that place again to be consoled and nurtured, but I'm torn because I don;' want them to also see the pain, which a parent would rather feel than their chuild. But the presence of being between my Mom smiling and popping her out out and smiling at me and saying, "Look at who wandered in." And my Dad lowering his book and saying, "Fritzie!" And me, lowering my head and sobbing, and just wanting to be in that moment again...

In the walk of semi-perpetual weariness and energy perks, I feel how parts of their love have become part of me, and I create that home within me.

And so as the fuse of chemo burns within me, and the tumor curdles, I smile and walk, but right now I'm home and safe.