Thursday, October 27, 2005

If making fun of people was against the law, I'd be a lifer

(Meet my Uncle Stan, whose parents were part hippo.)

It's been a while- quite a bit of time actually- since I was having such a good day that I didn't want to go to sleep. When you have those days, and you know what I'm talking about- you don't want them to end. You want them to go on and on and just keep getting better. I was in that kind of mood last night when I laid down to go to sleep. I was having the best day I'd had in so long, laughing like I hadn't laughed in weeks, and just being so happy that I'd had the day that I had.

A lot of it stems from the fact that I don't work right now, and by "work" I mean "smoke" and by "now" I mean "crack." I've got a couple of projects (porn) I'm working on, I try to keep the webpage fresh, I keep in contact with friends and people I used to work for... but I'm not productive like I used to be, I guess. I'm tired a lot. REALLY tired; and I get tired of being tired, but there's not so much I can do about it. Tired. So tired. Like a happy full-time Sherwin Williams paint huffer tired. Sleep study tired. Nick Nolte in mug shot tired. Anyway, the medication makes me so drowsy (see tired) sometimes, and my immune system sucks, so I catch every little thing, and the chemo has made me anemic, and I'm just worn out from the chemo, too, most days. And this whole time I've been beating myself up for not doing more, for not getting up earlier, for not being more productive. And yet the more I try, the more tired I feel and the more I sleep and it's just been a never-ending self-defeating battle.

Which is why I joined Gilda's club. I didn't really know what that was going to mean to me, but last night I went to my first function there. Here's what I got out of it: the club itself was established by Gene Wilder after Gilda Radner died. She had been connected with a group of cancer patients and survivors on the west coast, and when she went back east to live, that sort of support group was pretty much non-existant and she had tried to recreate the same type of network there. She continued to try to build that sort of support until she died, but was never able to. So Gene Wilder worked on this after her death, and now there's Gilda's Clubs all across the U.S.

So just walking into the place , I knew that I would be surrounded by all kinds of people who knew what I was talking about; and, of course, they did. But to be able to just vent and say, "This really sucks- and people just don't understand- have got it all wrong- I have no control over most of this stuff" and all of them just nodding and agreeing and saying, "Dude, we've been there."
It blew me away what it felt like to have advocates all around me that I'd never even met before, and what further blew my mind was these people were just amazing examples to me on how to handle life. It was like being in the midst of synergy. It was an experience I'll never forget, and one that I feel so blessed to have had. Sometimes when stuff sucks, you come across people and places that make you realize what a divine plan is, and that there are reasons for things that we'll never understand until we encounter the lessons we're meant to learn. That's what Gilda's club was to me last night, and I want to show my appreciation for it by being a part of something so good. Did I mention they make kick-ass pink lemonade? Anyway, my point is this: non-profits mean a lot when you're on the other side of them, and I encourage all of you to take part in one before you really need their help.




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