Thursday February 11th 2010, 9:02 pm
Filed under: Love Letters

To my father’s daughter in-law,

One year ago my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. Three months later he underwent a surgical procedure to remove the cancerous part of his lower intestine, which left untreated could have killed him in a matter of months. At the stale age of 73 a procedure like that became a statistical hypothesis, a guessing game where one gambles on the longevity of one’s time on this planet as a living organism. After disturbing complications from his surgery, he was released from the hospital in good spirits, only to find out the cancer had spread to his lymph-nodes, sending him back to the cancer specialists for six grueling months of chemotherapy.  And though his spirits stayed resilient, most likely due to the fact he’s as stubborn not to die as he is stubborn not to show his emotional weaknesses, he had many more months of recovery. During this period, I visited him on several occasions in hopes to open up an emotional and connected bond with him in ways never available to me during my childhood. I came to find out he was just as guarded, if not more now then when I was a child, with his emotional and clandestine secrets. His reticent and guarded thoughts were admirable– I could never withhold my heart like him, as I wear my heart on my sleeve for the world to pierce, poke and prod. Even though there was no “ah-ha” breakthrough moments to gloat about in our recent sessions together, I take pride and pleasure in the experience of his presence. It’s like two fingers touching without words,  Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” incarnate, only fleeting moments of “this is” and the connection of a human’s understudying to the touch of god. His health seemed to slowly regenerate, however with occasional hic-ups expected from such a traumatizing experience. ((Fast forward to the present)) Exactly one year after his first cancerous diagnosis, Dad’s now been in the emergency room for over a week. What started as a routine colonoscopy turned into something disconcerting and dire. After his mandatory bowel cleansing before a camera/tube was shoved in his anus, my father tried eating what was to be, hitherto his check-up, a solid meal. Something happened to his bowels and his small-intestine decided it no longer wanted to pass food through its opening. His body’s reaction was to violently vomit the ingested food, as it had nowhere else to go. Obviously this was a major concern for his doctors. If the body can not digest food, the body can not survive. The “specialist doctors”, or “body mechanics”, attempted another CT scan of his intestinal tract. However, if the body stops digesting food it also stops digesting CT dye, which is necessary to perform an accurate x-ray of the digestive tract. This becomes another troubling perplexity for the doctors. At my father’s age and with his history of complicated recuperation from these invasive procedures, the last option a doctor considers is opening the patient up again. Their best bet and their most educated guess was to stick tubes down his throat and vacuum his intestinal acids while slowly pumping bursts of air onto the small intestine’s opening in hopes of dislodging whatever was blocking his passageway. At this time, my father had not had a bowel movement nor had he passed any gas since his admission to the hospital. With his stomach distended like a starving 3rd world child and with no time to waste, he underwent this mechanical “suck-and-blow procedure” for three days. Twenty-four hours later, he passed a bit of gas, giving hopes that the procedure was helping move along whatever it was that was causing the blockage. In an optimistic decision the doctors removed the tubes and attempted to feed him solids like soup and jello. He immediately dejected the “food”, alluding to the theory that this was more than just a minor blockage in his intestine. After two days of attempting to unblock this unknown mass the doctors reconvened to discuss their next option. ((Breaking News)) I  just received a call from my mother telling me they are preparing to operate on him in the morning. Their best guess is the removal of scar tissue resulting from the original invasive surgery. My worse fear is that the cancer has moved from his large intestine to his small intestine, causing significant closure of his bowels. I’ve been in contact with him in this past week and his spirits continue to be at an all time high; however it is my suspicion his optimism is the same facade he’s known for during these understandably undesirable times. It is my hope he is currently without pain and suffering. I hope his blood pressure is low and his spirits are high. It is my hope he walks out of the hospital with a smile on his face and with the confidence of a man who knows he will live to be 103 years old and who isn’t ready to retire to the next realm. But these are MY hopes. I’m not done making this beautiful creature laugh; I’m not done surprising him. Even though I’m 3,000 miles away from his body, I feel more connected to him tonight than I ever have. He is the one who taught me to be man and how to make honest connections in life. I suppose after he passes, so too shall my commitment to the idea of manhood. I will be left in a non-definitive  world of pure existence. But until that time, he’s still my dad; he’s still the one I look towards finding peace in his mistakes. After all, like Father, like Son.

-The concerned son

Tuesday February 09th 2010, 9:18 pm
Filed under: Love Letters

To a blizzard’s plight,

It’s winter in New York and there’s a snowstorm expected tonight. I moved here a little over a month ago leaving Los Angeles and its haunting stench and staleness behind. I miss my friends, although I know my absconding was justified as a matter of life or death. In the land of the lost I was quickly losing myself. No, never soft nor subtle, but only fast and furious. When I come, I come correct. I come with passion, ferocity and fervor, propelling ever closer towards the abyss, millimeters from event horizon. It is my suspicion that if I did not immediately leave Los Angeles, I would have been dead in no more then three months. This is not a Hollywood dramatization; this is candid concern for my conscious health. I left my friends behind, and as well my enemies. Most importantly, I left the self destructive part of me that was closing in on the slippery doorstep of death’s domain. No, this is not drama. These thoughts are the cause for my departure from California. So cheers to the rat that jumped ship. Cheers to the survivor and to the loner rodent running as far as he could from the haunting suspicion of an ominous and deadly storm. Yet, instead of running FROM these pathological uncertainties, I ran TOWARDS a better life, towards the Drala, towards the golden sun and the ineffable peace of a winter’s blizzard. Snow is peace; it is warm and cold congruently. It is a peace of mind which allows thoughts to wander into the nude nature of consciousness. Snow resets the cognitive mind like a freshly shorn scalp or a freshly drawn bath; it is the antithesis of the abyss. My natural instinct has been to strip off my confining clothes which inhibit me daily, and instead prance around in the magical freedom of snow’s white canvas. I am the artist’s brush dipped into the palette of the universe, ready to make my mark again. Yet the question prevails: will I continue creating the grotesque, or will I engage in unadulterated beauty? Only time will tell; only time and being will know. It’s beginning to snow now so I shall end this letter knowing my mind and heart are falling deep into to a falling blizzard.

– The Snow Flake

Tuesday February 09th 2010, 8:45 pm
Filed under: Love Letters

To a positive outlook,

This year has been by far the most challenging battle I’ve faced on this god-forsaken planet. Consecutive imbroglios have beleaguered my opportunities and yet I still have a panoply of tricks up my sleeve to abscond the despondent strangle-hold I feel on a quotidian basis. Constantly reminding myself to laugh and enjoy life has been a major weapon against the sadness and depression my pathology is drawn towards. One must be burned by the flame to know that the delusion of beauty is the greatest trick of all; do not go into the light for your life will immolate. I offer myself life-lines of hope and happiness to stave off the surrounding invaders of despair. I quell my pain with laughter. And although seemingly insane at times, I still laugh to myself… out-loud… diabolically. And in the words of the late heath ledger as the joker, “why so serious?!”