Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Spent the morning with Gannet, laughing at our old word games, smiling at old phrases as if we still spoke them daily. At some point though he became sullen. He pointed in his icon book to the sad face and images that are labeled BE TOGETHER GOOD, GO AWAY BAD, SAD. He hit me on the shoulder, not hard, but with enough force to act as an adjective to the simple images and phrases from his book. I told him I love him, that I will always come back to see him, and listed every other friend who still visits him. The long list brought a wide smile to his face. He pointed to the Icon LOVE and I point to the same. He spits out his broad, frothy laughter.

If I truly do wish to treat and love Gannet as a human and a brother, I have to allow him the same complicated love and pain as every other person, even be part of that those feelings.. If I knew that he understood enough outside the sphere of his own life to comprehend why I’m no longer consistently in his life that would give me peace of mind. Maybe he does, and like the rest of us, just doesn’t like it. Maybe he can’t grasp far beyond the daily circumstances of his life. I don’t know, and GO AWAY BAD, BE TOGETHER GOOD just doesn’t say enough for either of us.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

2 Dreams about cancer

So all tests are fine and of course I’ve had this giddy spot in my mind since. I keep getting these ticklish, happy feelings, like a spinning top whirling randomly around my psyche. My dreams are still haunted though. Haunted not simply by lingering memory, but a kind of self-illustrating process by which the physical threat of rabid corpuscles became incorporeal memory. As the cancer becomes an image, a collection of memory cells, its effect becomes psychological and ephemeral. If this back and forth between presence and absence doesn’t qualifies as haunting, I don’t know what does.

In the first dream a woman has a tumor removed, but it returns, not in her body but as first as an amorphous shadow, becoming an extra shadow perfectly mimicking here shape as she walks through noir like city streets, finally, the ghost tumor take her physical shape becoming a perfect, hungry double…

A medium in a dark, 19th century drawing room, blindfolded, shuddering, throws back her head. The candle lit audience leans forward expectantly –obviously she’s going to manifest ectoplasm. A substance somewhere between smoke and fabric rolls from her parted lips, flowing upward, forming a perfect image of a magnified cancer cell – a hungry blossom, a stinging jellyfish swimming in the body’s blood and water. The slowly image dissipates.

(The second dream came after searching for images of cancer cells for my story “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” put out in book form by Chelsea Johnson and Iris Porter for their 7-inch Stories series)