Up in the Middle of the Night

It’s just after 3:00 a.m. and I can’t bring myself to write what’s on my mind because I’m not quite sure I know. I woke from a bizarre, troubling nightmare. Rather than attempt to go back to sleep, I got up. That probably was a mistake. I may be up for the duration, but if I can’t figure out what to write, I might try sleep, instead. I’ve deleted a dozen paragraphs, each one the start of a post that paints me as weaker and less confident than I believe myself to be. At least I’ve deleted them instead of carrying them forward because, “you know, I’ve gone to the trouble of writing them, so I might as well.” No, when what I write is swill I will discard it the way one discards swill. Unceremoniously and without regret. At least that’s the way I think one discards swill. I’ve never actually known precisely what swill was, though I’ve called some foods and beverages swill and have treated them accordingly.

Well, my attempt at humor isn’t working, so maybe I’ll try something else. I spent a few minutes reading several Facebook posts made by a woman I may have met in person once or twice. Her several posts dealt with a recent exploratory surgery to determine whether some problem she has been having (I’m not quite clear just how the problem presented itself) was cancer. The surgery couldn’t confirm it, one way or the other. So, she’s scheduled for further surgery soon to excise whatever it is that may be cancer. Her posts suggest she had dealt with cancer on multiple occasions. And she is asking for prayers.  She’s obviously frightened, deeply afraid, of what the future might hold for her. I wrote that I wish her well and hope the doctors can remove any traces of cancer so she can go on with her life. She may not even remember who I am. Or she might. I feel compassion and empathy for her as I would for anyone in her shoes. But… But, what? I don’t know. I wonder whether talking about one’s prospective diagnosis of cancer is somehow off-putting? That could be it. It could be viewed as a desperate attempt for pity. Or something like it. I don’t know. So maybe now I’ll retract what I’ve told people about my diagnosis. “It was all a misunderstanding. It’s actually a ping-pong ball I inhaled during an especially violent game of table tennis.” My attempt to have humor rescue me from whatever it was the preceded it. Fell flat again.

Tomorrow morning I go to the church to help with the Autumn clean-up/spruce-up, followed by a couple of hours of long range planning committee work. And those who know of my recent medical issues will want to know what more I know. I think I’ll lie and tell them I know nothing more. Still waiting for results. Because I think people prefer uncertainty over an unpleasant certainty. Even when the unpleasant certainty probably is not the bad situation it could have been had I let the cough go unchecked for another four or five months.

A few friends have expressed interest in NaNoWriMo. I would like to have written a novel. I just don’t want to do the work to have written it. Not this month, anyway. I can’t even write a blog post that satisfies me or that begins to capture what’s on my mind. So I’ll try sleep again. It’s only just after 3:30 and I don’t have to be at church until 8:30. So, maybe up to four more hours available for sleep. But I’m almost always up by 6 or 6:30, so not likely four more hours. But at least a little more, maybe?

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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