Today begins another great adventure. I use the term loosely, of course. There is nothing great about scheduling a grueling round of radiation treatments at the Mayo Clinic. I am, however, using the word as an adjective, not an adverb. Any adventure that has the potential to be life changing, has a greatness all its own. Don’t cha think? Just go with it, for now.
So, here we are, my dutiful husband and I, back in the city that forged our connection, through fire and adversity. I have a love/hate relationship with Mordor… er… Phoenix. I’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned this a time or two before. Having lived and worked here for 20 years (almost a third of my life), it’s sort of become a part of my DNA. If it can find a way to pull me back, it will do so. I am hopelessly caught in the Sun City’s gravitational pull.
Like many people, I had my ups and I had my downs while living in the Land of Scorch. There were things I hated. The gawd awful heat. The traffic. The crowds. The thick brown air. I don’t miss any of that, but there is a lot I do miss. I miss access to a real theater scene, where even community theater is semi-professional. I miss the food selections. So many restaurants, cafes and bistros. So many world cuisines. So much variety.
I miss the art galleries and the bookstores. I miss the music venues and the clubs. I miss the bars and the festivals. I miss having real entertainment choices. I miss my son and I miss my woggies. I miss so much, but I don’t miss the city itself. Too many bad memories, there. Too many people I hope never to see again, for fear I may take out ten years of resentment and pent up rage on them. Yes, it’s that bad.
We’ve all made bad choices. We’ve all had to live with the consequences of those choices. But what if the choice we make is one we truly believe in, because it is the best choice for us? What if that choice is well thought out and designed to cause the least amount of harm to any of the parties involved. And what if those designs are subverted by haters, who take it upon themselves to poison the well, leading those designs to be ignored in favor of pettiness and misplaced vengeance?
What if, suddenly, sides are drawn and people, once believed trustworthy and sympathetic, show their true colors? What if going anywhere – a favorite restaurant, the grocery store, a popular venue – becomes a challenge, literally, and forces unwelcome confrontations? What if you begin losing clients because of the gossip and unsubstantiated rumors? What if you’ve had enough of the drama and the noise and you just have to leave? To escape. To start over in a new place.
That sort of thing can leave a very bad taste in one’s mouth. It drains the colors from everything that was once considered pleasurable, leaving behind an overhanging shadow that is both acrid and menacing. And yet it’s here that the adventure will begin – a new chapter with uncertain results, starting at the Mayo Clinic, right here in my very own version of Hell. Clear irony and not in the Alanis Morissette-isn’t-that-a-bummer kind of way. No really, I actually swore I would never live here again. I might visit, but anything more than a few days was just NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Especially during the summer…
Ah, cancer, you devious and deceitful bitch. You have much in common with the duplicitous quislings I left behind. All signs point toward my returning soon for a 9-week stay, during which time I will undergo treatments five days a week. And here’s the clincher: I will most likely be living here for the ten-year anniversary of my flight from this cursed city. That’s how irony really works, Alanis.
I won’t really know what’s what until after today’s battery of tests and consultations. Hopefully by the end of the day. This gut goblin is a hungry bitch and more drastic measures may be called for. I’m sure there are still those who will take great pleasure in that knowledge, but I’d rather not dwell on any of it, for now. Just get through today. Just like yesterday and the day before. Just like every day.
And adventures aside; when, one wonders, will I learn that one should never, ever say never? The world may never know…