Writers are an emotional lot. They are sometimes oversensitive to the various in’s and out’s of human interaction. What is just a minor spat to someone else becomes a lurid, overarching drama ending in tragedy. What we often see on some of our more intellectually challenged television productions are just that, the poorly manufactured mountain out of a rather pathetic molehill. Then there are those dramas that we act out in our daily existence. These events occur in the darkness and obscurity of our private lives, hidden from the eyes of strangers and family alike, we suffer in silence. It is my firm belief that there are two types of people in life, victims and survivors. The victim picks at the scab of tragedy, relishing in the pain. The survivor adapts, overcomes and allows even the deepest wounds to scar over, to mend and heal with time. Some wounds however, run deep. They terrify the soul, and burn our conscience.
Betrayal is that deep wound. I am speaking not of something as prurient as the betrayal of a lover, or a friend, but of something much deeper; when our body fails us, that is the most devastating betrayal of all. We all understand our mortality, we see those around us age, become frail and fade into memory. We except the inevitable direction of time’s arrow, and we cling to each day, sucking the marrow out of each moment. We are blissfully ignorant of our deaths. Then we stumble, our body fails us. For the first time we realize our mortality, we see what has been invisible to this point. The clock of our lives is finite; seconds, minutes, hours, days and years are ticking by ever faster. There is no reset, and zero hour is coming up fast.
I never knew fear until my body failed me. I was never afraid of the long dark nights. I slept well. I went about my daily tasks, not caring about my portion of life. I lived. Right up until I started to die. My body was at war with itself. As the battles raged, I found myself in a hospital bed, facing the inevitable; with no other choice, I jumped. With zero options, surgery was the only way out. The medications were administered, I was anesthetized, and the doctors operated. I remember waking, being relieved that the journey to the west had not ended. I would see another dawn.
My memories are foggy about that time. They are distorted by the pain medication, and even the pain itself. Nightmares still haunt me, even a year later. Fear, confusion, doubt hound me. There are days where I am paralyzed by weakness. Sleepless nights, frustrated days, and the constant pain of rehabilitation, I am still hurt by this betrayal of the flesh. I am stunned by my mortality. The physical scars have healed, but they still transect my body and are visible. They are the first thing that I see when I use the bathroom mirror. Some days, they don’t take my breath away. Other days, I am still shocked by them, an eternal reminder of the time my body betrayed me.