I went to the doctor today. I scrunched up my toes inside my ballet flats while I sat in the waiting room. It smelled like raspberry jelly and hand sanitizer. My shoes bit into my heels. I should really stop wearing uncomfortable shoes just cause they look pretty. But beauty is pain.
Ain’t that the truth.
I waited and waited and waited. I hate being alone in my own head. I relish crawling over vivid memories, and beat myself over the head with botched personal relationships. Oh, God. How could I have been so naïve. I’ll just slip off into Regretland and savor the tangy flavor of self-loathing. I hear they have great snow globe-filled gift shops and merry-go-rounds there.
Then I remember why I am here, and the grim rehashings vanish. Oh, that’s right. I’m getting my test results back today.
Idiot nurse. Her voice sounds like a chipped harmonica, and there are Slurpee stains on her scrubs. I guess I hate people a little more than they deserve.
I got up and slumped my way into the examining room she was motioning to with her sallow, liver-spotted arm. I glared at her and the smile melted right off her face. Ruined another day. Score.
Dr. Mancuso entered the room, but not before I’d had time to develop goosebumps all over my arms and legs from the cold pleather mutant sofa they make you sit on. He smiled warmly, then gave up all pretense and began his oh-so-merciful speech.
I think this must be lesson number one in Patient Doctor School: how to break bad news to a terrified patient with flawless bedside manner. But I’m not a terrified patient. I pray that his news will be bad, so that I can run out and start accruing pity points. Nothing gets you free lattés and promotions more that a candid announcement of a terminal disease.
So the lines around his mouth crinkle slowly, and his eyes lower at all the right moments as he tells me in slow motion that I have less than 3 months to live.
I hate this part.
I have to pretend to grieve.
When all is said and done and I am on the way back to my apartment in a cab stinking of mid-life crises and cigarettes, I feel relief. Most people don’t realize that being given this sort of death sentence is the best thing that could possibly happen to someone. I waited too long to see a doctor, and now I’m doomed. No way out but to seize the day. I’ll live out the Bucket List. I think I’d like to be Morgan Freeman.
I am barely 18 years old. My parents are the type of laissez-faire buddy people that always let me have my way. This made me lose interest in normal teenage rebellion pretty quickly. So I barely drank. Never smoked anything but weed. Ah, ecstasy. Maybe you’ll be the first thing on my to-do list. I’ve never been in love. Never had sex either. It’s tragic.
I am not cynical. Or jaded. I’m idealistic to a fault, and I believe everything and everyone has the potential to be good. But I just happen to hate everyone I meet. Seems to me like a cruel coincidence.
People in general are amazingly flawed works of art. Just none of the ones I’ve met. Which reminds me: how does someone who’s spent their life pushing people away go about doing all the things they were too chicken to attempt when they thought they had time? Well alone, of course. Skydiving, surfing, swimming with the sharks….mmm-mmm. Definitely not. I’m an indoor girl. My last-chance paradise is going to consist of a philosophy. If there was ever a time to do the opposite of what I’ve always done, it’s now.
Sooo…I’ll love everyone. And “love” everyone too…good thing I can’t get pregnant with a disease eating away at my insides. Don’t worry, it’s not contagious. Come over here and touch me, I’m soft inside, just like you. I won’t hurt you.
What do you do when the ground disappears from beneath your feet?