I was wondering what to write about today (if anything) when I stumbled across the latest post by the ever-excellent Wheelchair Kamikaze. If you've not come across this blogger before, then I can only heartily commend him to you as being one of the most eloquent writers you are likely to find. He is stricken by an ever-advancing form of progressive MS, and writes movingly and evocatively about his life as he watches his body slowly disappear around him. He's not a misery-blogger by any stretch of the imagination though: he's playful, creative and funny, able to see the humour in even the blackest of situations. He's also the most determined advocate and informed patient that I have yet come across.... if you want to know about MS research and the endless machinations of the drug companies, then he's your man.
Anyway. Today's post pretty much broke my heart as our man reflects upon his past and on the mental toll this appalling condition has gradually taken upon his life. He's not self-pitying in the least, and even from here he can see the upside of the wheelchair as the single best way of navigating New York City, but it's hard to read this and not feel the aching sense of loss.
"I find myself, despite my best efforts and better judgment, increasingly getting lost in the past, wishing that I could turn back the clock several decades for a second shot at it all. Given the time and opportunity to pick apart my old life as one might dissect the intricacies of a piece of enigmatic prose, the many mistakes made, the missed opportunities, the undeniable missteps of my long gone existence stand out in stark relief. Might a different choice here or there have put me on a path that would not have led to my being afflicted with this goddamned scourge? Live in the moment, I tell myself, stay in the now, embrace with gratitude all the good you still have, but the siren song of days long gone, faded times once so pregnant with possibility, penetrates my defenses like a laser guided bomb."
Read the whole post here: Wheelchair Kamikaze - a certain kind of crazy.
Now that's writing.
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