Sunday, July 02, 2006

Trying Harder to Live

I need to try harder to live. I once was better at fiercely fighting disease. I was a woman of power, speed walking an hour daily at a local golf course, taking mega immune vitamins with every meal, and creatively visualizing my immune system eating my disease. I read scores of heal-yourself books and watched Fred and Ginger dance, whirling in white spats and feathered dresses.

I think of those punch-in-the-face clown dolls filled with air I wanted so badly as a child. The kind that you'd jab and they'd bounce right back, ready to be hit again. (As a girl, I was known for my bad temper.) In the beginning of my fight, I was like Sugar Ray Leonard, all dance and jibe, punching my disease on its red nose, over and over, determined to prevail. But with each relapse I started staying down longer--one, three, six. Gradually, I switched from being Sugar Ray to being the clown, my plastic head concussed repeatedly by the "Big C." And lately, I feel I've started to deflate like an old balloon. I barely bounce back at all. I say again, I need to try harder to live.

A few weeks ago, a duo of psychics told me I was depressed (I knew this already) and to do something about my despair. They didn't channel the spirits of my favorite authors--always a secret hope of mine--and give me some encouraging message from a literary giant or giantess. Though they did say that one of my mom's cousins, known for her razor wit, said she'd kick my butt if I didn't buck up. I've visited psychics a half dozen times over the last fifteen years, about one visit per relapse, because they're more fun than therapists (who I've also visited on occasion. Why not.)

Anyway, the sisterly psychics said do something, so I started writing my column, something I've considered since January. Sometimes I need to pay thirty-five dollars a half hour to hear the obvious. You need to try harder to live, Julie. Try harder.

Best, Jumblie Girl


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