when you’re dying (or just feel like it)

confession: every time she calls, i wonder if it is the call, the call to tell me that our friend has died. she called last night. our friend is still alive. i texted our friend after that call. our friend conserves her limited energy for things other than texting back, but i trust that her lover reads the text messages to her.

confession: i have another friend who is dying. (it can take several sick years to die of certain cancers.) i think about what i’d do with several hundred chemo-sick days if that’s what i had left. my friend plays video games. cancer took surfing but gave him video games. if cancer took dancing from me, i might play video games, too, especially with a virtual reality headset.

confession: none of us knows how many days we have left, sick or healthy. that reality keeps me writing, dancing, hiking every day.

confession: dance break. choose your favorite groove. (i’ve been in a sexy dance loop for several weeks with this song on repeat–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS0G1KK8H6M)

confession: i have a friend who feels like she is dying from heartbreak. i know that feeling, the dying-grieving that threatens to collapse you from inside every time your breath catches on a suppressed crying jag. fuck, that hurts. also, fuck that hurt. if there’s a shortcut through that pain, i don’t know it…except to spend as many moments as possible each day doing the things that are worth being alive for.

things worth being alive for this week: watermelon, cherries, the letter that arrived from the newest friend, the letter i’m writing to the writer, shafts of brassy sunlight angling through the trees 28 minutes before sunset, the dusky light 18 minutes after sunset that turns my skin a magical glowing blue, fireflies, a handsome man’s strut in a suit under a bright red umbrella, when someone introduces me to a perfect old song that is new to me, stretching in bed and going back to sleep for twenty minutes.

other things worth being alive for in weeks and months and years beyond this one: rendezvous, reunions, surprise meetings, chance encounters, synchronicity, new beginnings, swimming pools and hot tubs, oceans, street food in thailand, foot massages, art that you’ll make, art that i’ll make, a long-anticipated vacation, journeys across time, explorations of landscapes—earthly, emotional, and psychological, lasting moments of peace (ten minutes in meditation counts), intermittent reprieves of calm (a single exhalation counts), naps, baby animals, laughing with the friend that reminds you how much fun it is to be you, to be your friend, to feel happy again.


About angel joy

love is an action verb. i live love in action.
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