Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Wilbury Twist

Did you know that for just under $400 you can have an entire office shipped in 25 boxes, a mere 16 miles into your basement? It's true. I saw it myself. As what some would euphemistically call this 'new' phase of my life unfolds, I'm coming to many revelations like that one. Another is that - like Jimmy Hoffa - you can completely disappear and no one will notice.  It's like that great stanza from The Traveling Wilburys' "Wilbury Twist":

Turn the lights down low
Put your blindfold on
You'll never know
When your friends have gone
It could be years before you're missed
Everybody's trying to do the Wilbury Twist

And I didn't even need to turn the lights down low.

So, will I ever get back to where I was? Like the blog title says, the answer's at the end. What I do know is that I've seen this movie before: a 46-year old man who had worked his whole life, full-time, unexpectedly stumbles and never fully regains the status he had. For the next 18 years he finished his working life, earning a salary certainly, and paying bills, but never making what he once earned. I saw the way his self-esteem was taken - never to fully return to what it had been. It could be years before you're missed.

Of course the two circumstances are vastly different. That fact, however, will not get in the way of a good paranoia. Honestly, though, I'm still too numb to panic. It's actually not dissimilar to being told you have cancer. You'd think at first the only thing you'd be thinking about is dying. You don't. Or, at least I didn't.  I thought about my family, but other than that my mind was wiped clean of pretty much any thought. I knew there were bad things coming; I knew that the outlook medically was very good, though; I 'knew' I wasn't going to die or anything, because no one dies from this kind of cancer. Fucked up? Sure. Irrevocably changed physically? Certainly. But not dead.

Those fears came later as I got closer to the actual surgery and it became more clear to me how much more intricate my surgery was going to be than 'normal'.  Because of the location of the tumors, instead of a 90-minute operation, it would be four hours. Instead of transfer directly to a room it would be 24+ hours in the ICU.

Similarly, right now my mind is in 'blank/numb' status. There are things I have to do - like emptying 25 boxes - and I'm doing them. But often I drift through the day without much thought [granted, maybe that's not so different from the first 46 years].  Occasionally there will be anger. Sadness. Fear. Regret. But I'm still in the stage where I throw in A Hard Day's Night or Ken Burns' Baseball or an episode of The Rockford Files, Everybody Loves Raymond or The Muppet Show and lose myself.

Eventually, I know I have to find me.  Just not today.

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