Life as an Extreme Sport

routines of a sick house

My sister is out, picking up some groceries. My father is watching the Seattle/Tampa Bay football game, and I’m sitting in my bedroom picking silver threads of my mother’s hair out of the scarf I wrapped around her bare neck last night, as we left her stylist. Earlier, I reached into my purse and took out a green hair clip full of her hair, and moved it into a plastic bag. The hair was wet when I took it, but dried into whispy white and silver strands over the night in my warm bedroom. Now it’s just a mass the size of my hand, tucked behind my socks in a drawer, waiting for the right photos and the right lockets for everyone. I haven’t been writing much because I often don’t feel like there’s much to say. Life in a sick house has settled into a bit of a routine

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it’s easier to sing the blues

Information wants to be free. This was the refrain I taught with for a couple of years, whenever I was sidekicking Phillip in one of his technology classes. It’s a pretty common maxim, and it’s one I actually do believe, especially when it comes to the internet. Put it online, and whatever “it” is no longer belongs to you – it goes wild, and anyone can come across it. Like your boss. Coworkers. Sister. I would say woops, except it’s the deal I accepted with myself when I opted to keep a public blog, and when I opted to open it up to spiders and search engines, thanks to Sean being sneaky and finding me prior to that. The thing is, and to my sister’s credit she understood this prior to talking with me this morning, blogs are often out of context. If you read my last post, and have

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then there is the sister

In the past, I’ve rarely spent more than a week at home for the holidays – or, specifically, more than a week that overlaps directly with my sister. She and I have never been close, and although we’ve been talking more in the last year than ever before, she is still in many ways not only a stranger, but an opposite of me. We do not get along very well. Being here brings out intense feelings of competition, like I’m constantly having to prove myself, and constantly failing. She’s always been my mother’s favourite – helped along quite a bit by the fact that she’s always been a spitting image of Mom. On top of that, she was always the good daughter who did what she told and lived life “right”. She was so proud she did things “right” – finished high school and college in the “right” order, has

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the night belongs to love

When we say our goodnights and head to bed, Mom doesn’t hug me, she holds me close. Her hands run up and down my back, touching lightly over the injured areas of my shoulder, following the curve of my spine as I bend over to reach her small frame. I don’t remember her being this small, but I know it’s just a trick of the mind, an exaggeration of my fears made visible. I clutch her to me in return, feeling the fire of chemo racing through her; it’s a strange feeling. For all of my life, I remember Mom being cold to the touch, a reflection of her low body fat. Winter meant losing Mom to layers and blankets. But this year is different; this year she’s not lost under layers that hide her shape and form and frailty. This year, her delicateness is visible to us, and I

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