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Saturday, November 26, 2005

the sky is falling

In a booth of a bar in the Latin Quarter, grass on the floor, a head chopping device in the corner, chains on the wall, and blues music for our ears, I tell my friend Harold I'm in limbo.

I'm in a transition place, caught in indecision.

What, tell me what, do I want to do in my life?

The snow is falling, for moments before it turns to rain, Christmas decorations lace the streets, and I'm caught somewhere between my past, present and future.

The Christmas spirit brings me back to somewhere warm, familiar, and far from my Parisian existence. But my mom arrives Wednesday, my dad soon after, and just the thought warms this icy apartment.

This morning I cried. I cried and I kept crying until late afternoon.

A small mole above my lip, a precious beauty mark I've had since birth, was bleeding. I picked a small dark scab the other day and watched in horror as it bled. 'Your beauty is bleeding,' I told myself.

After some research, I found it's quite likely I have skin cancer. These symptoms are familiar with that of finding melanoma in a mole. And after several visits to tanning salons, in search of warmth, I know I shouldn't be surprised.

So I cried. I walked to a nearby hospital, the rain pouring over me, my toes curled up in my shoes, freezing over. There they gave me the number of another hospital, where I'll have to call back Monday to make an appointment. My cell phone is busted, and I'll have to find someone to lend me theirs to find out whether or not I'm exaggerating my conditions.

I went to a pharmacy and asked for some antiseptic. I told a young woman that "I scratched my mole and need to put something on it," while another older woman turned to me and warned me that it could be skin cancer. "You need to be aware of any changes in the colour or shape of your mole, if it bleeds it can be a sign." The tears that had been gathering in my throat since I stepped out of my apartment came up in the form of a monsoon. The older woman walked away. The younger woman rang me through, gave me awkward smiles, and looked absolutely baffled by my tears. "It's something...it's something else..." I told her, not wanting her to worry.

The pain goes away in the dimly lit bar, a whiskey and coke in my hand. My friend and I talk about music, life, death, love and poetry, while he tells me not to worry. I don't. Instead I breathe deeply, speak honestly, take big sips of my drink, and drown my sorrows, so to speak.

Later we walk through the Marais, the gay district, and then separate. My friend tells me I have to come down to the suburbs where he's staying to visit him.

I'm numb on the metro home. Still thinking about what I want out of life. Thinking about my mole that will be sliced off by a surgeon if cancerous, while two young men nibble at a baguette in front of me.

What, what do I want? I'm still in limbo.

I'm still dancing through my mind. At least I love to dance.

blinded by the light
department store salutes christmas


"You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life."

-J. Krishnamurti, Indian Philosopher

4 Comments:

Blogger tara dawn said...

My thoughts are with you, and I continue to find an exquisite beauty in your words. Your beauty has brought you pain, but your pain has brought beauty to others.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't stress too much....I had the same thing happen with a mole and it was nothing, so don't worry until you need to :)

11:06 PM  
Blogger untitled said...

a part of me is so jealous of your emotional range. every once in a while you make me feel like i'm barely alive for thinking bars and christmas and blood and fake tans and everything else we've created is such a joke. stress is so bad, but it doesn't sound like you're stressed. most of us will get or have gotten cancer so i'm not sure why anonymous was trying to console you with his/her nothing mole. i think it's amazing much how you let yourself feel.
keep it real.
shirin

4:24 PM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

It's looking like the mole scare may be nothing, it's healing quickly, but I'll wait for a medical confirmation before I'm sure. I'm not too stressed over it anymore. I cried all day, accepted it, and will deal with what I have to. I'm a sun worshiper and have often accepted the fact that skin cancer is something I'll eventually get.

And thanks for appreciating my neurotic emotions Shirin, and also Tara. I like feeling. And you know I'll keep it real.

6:12 AM  

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