03 August 2012

Another Way

It was another very warm day here. Ah, for the most part I don’t mind these days of sweltering heat—I do not have to move far or fast, and sometimes I don’t have to move anywhere at all! After the severity of the winters I would feel hypocritical to register any complaint concerning temperatures that hovered even in the nineties. This too shall pass.
I was engaged in a perfectly absurd conversation that delighted both myself and my companion. He had proposed an idea for a movie script that actually had promise, though neither he nor I had enough ambition or connection to ever make of this fantasy a reality. No matter, really, because the idea of the script was enough to occupy us throughout the meal and will delight us for the next several days, at least.
We were awaiting the delivery of our meal. At this particular eating establishment, the food is casual (I usually order a not-so-simple grilled cheese with tomato and chips, and today my companion decided on a plate of fancy scrambled eggs) and always satisfying. The waitresses are, however, notoriously and famously bad.
And when I looked up from my plate, at the counter I saw standing a lovely young woman who couldn’t have been more that twenty-five years old. She was slight, I think, by which I mean small in stature and bone. On her head she wore the scarf that covered her baldness. She wore a print dress with a scoop neck, and above her right breast and several inches below her collar bone lay the adhesive bandage that covered the port into which would drip the chemicals that would, I hope, cure her cancer.
And I considered: I hated that this beautiful young woman suffered this disease, but I admired her refusal to abandon her life to it unless there was no other choice. She walked proudly in the world, brushed her pallor with color, dressed stylishly, walked proudly, and entered the public world without embarrassment or trepidation. There was, her presence said, a way to confront the reality of the cancer treatments that were physically brutal and mentally challenging,  a manner that refused to retreat from the world defeated, and that insisted that life would, yes, continue as near as possible in its normal and daily course.


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