Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

When you sleep beside me I hear your falling heart crashing and I try to pick up the debris

My mom called around 9:15 this evening. I was eating supper at the time. She said she'd call back later. I told her that I could just call her but she insisted that she'd call me. I thought that was peculiar. I usually call her. When she called back I had finished eating. She told me that she had some bad news. I told her I should have figured that was the case, given the fact that she called me.

My sister in law has been having pains in her side for more than a month and they were enough to make Chris want to go to the doctor and get it checked out. That's what she told Mom two weeks ago. Earlier today my brother told Mom that they had found hundreds of tiny polyp-like growths all over her stomach. The nurse there mentioned that she'd never seen so many. They think it may be cancerous. Apparently, they'll know more in two weeks. If it's malignant it doesn't look good. Her kids don't know yet.

Sometimes it's hard to put into words what I'm thinking and feeling, exactly. The phrase, "Well, that's a fine kettle of fish," keeps going through my head, but that is woefully inadequate to sum up news like this. I guess I could also say it sucks, for all the good that this does anyone. I'm feeling kind of anxious and sorry for my brother and his wife. I like Chris. She's a year older than me. She's not "my type" and kind of hard for me to figure sometimes, in certain ways, but she is a real sweetheart who is almost always in a positive frame of mind and she's been really good for my brother. Certainly their marriage has lasted longer than mine. A long time ago I always figured that if either my brother or I were to end up divorced it would be him. Life hands us surprises for our little indulgences in conceits.

My brother is a very different man than I. I guess I can say that I understand him to a certain extent but he has a thought process that is not intuitive to me. This is literally so as he is an ESTJ type. Despite our differing modes of expression and thought, I can say that I understand him well enough to understand that he and Chris are good for one another and that they are very close. I don't know exactly in what way my brother would comes to grips with it if something happened to his wife. I'm hoping that we don't have to find out for years but the news sounds worrisome.

It's kind of gnawing on me. It's certainly given me something much more pressing to think about than my back getting stressed these past couple of days. I want to write about how they don't deserve such a scare, even if it is just a scare, but does anyone really ever deserve cancer? I can't think of many people who would. Of course, I don't believe in Cosmic Justice, deities, or Karma in the first place but I can see why people are tempted to seek some kind of "meaning" out of circumstances like these. Mortality really does just plain suck. I just can't contemplate that concept and accept it as "natural." I just can't consider the topic without thinking, "there's something wrong with this picture."

I'm forty five years old and in all the time I've been alive I really just have a hard time getting a grasp on grief. I'm no good at it. I don't know what to make of it or do with it other than to just endure it. I have many times been someone to lean upon, or to cry upon. I have certainly felt it myself, but the whole emotion baffles me when it comes to helping someone else do something about it. It's not that I have no empathy or have not felt it myself, it's just so personal and I guess I have a pretty uncommon philosophy about how it is handled. I don't know. I am often misunderstood with respect to negative emotions. I suppose that isn't is bad as being misunderstood in my expression of the positives. That would be worse. Anyway, I just have trouble expressing grief in front of all but the people to whom I am closest or perhaps ones with whom I am most comfortable in certain ways. Surprisingly enough, I think my ex wife saw more of my grief than my mother has since I became an adult. My family asked if I would like to say a few words at her funeral when my grandmother died and I declined — I just couldn't do it. Grief is too personal.

I do hope that Chris gets some good news. I have read that cancer, for all that it is a large bogey-man to our civilization, is actually not all that common, but I have seen so many of my relatives and some friends succumb to it. It's not a pretty way to go, not that I know of any in particular. I just wish someone would hurry up and find a reliable cure for that crap. The world would be well rid of it. I suppose I am rambling. I am of a mind to go look for some sleep. Fortunately, I had a spot of insomnia last night so I'm pretty sure I'm tired enough that it isn't going to be an issue this evening.

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You... don't believe in Cosmic Justice?
*points at a bunch of HeroClix*
But... but... *sigh*

On a more serious note: Best wishes, thoughts and prayers for your brother and sister-in-law.


And now, for a completely different perspective

I must admit that having seen you write about HeroClix on your page I have been intrigued by what exactly that is. Thanks. I needed a grin before turning in.

I think I'll call it a night and leave you with a question, for the nonce: I'm sure that you are familiar with the Watchmen movie coming out next March. Any thoughts on that? The site and the trailer look pretty cool!

Re: And now, for a completely different perspective

HeroClix is a collectible miniatures game. Basically, it lets you play out all of those "Could Superhero X beat Superhero Y" fantasy battles you came up with as a kid. Each figure stands on a combat dial that contains the following information:

As the figure takes damage, you turn the dial an according number of clicks; the stats will change as the dial is turned. Additionally, some of the stats on the dial have a block of color superimposed on them. Those colors represent different powers and abilities. In recent sets, the figures come with character cards that show what the color-keyed power is; the cards are a great addition to the game as you can glance at the card and know exactly what a given power is.

As an example, I made the card below for my Jean Grey Phoenix figure (she is from a set that didn't use the cards). The fun/tedious part was going through old X-Men comics to find the quotes to put with each power:

This card also comes in handy as the dyes used in making Jean's dial were... off, so it's hard to tell what some of the powers are supposed to be. But, with the card, I can look at it and know (almost) instantly.

Watchmen - I've seen the trailer... and it looks phenomenal. Empire Online did a shot-to-comic panel comparison and the shots that they juxtaposed were spot-on to their four-color counterparts. I'm looking forward to seeing it; I also hope that it holds up to the original story.

If you haven't read Watchmen, I recommend stopping into your local bookseller, finding a copy, getting a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice), sitting in a comfy chair and dive in. It's a superhero book that's not about superheroes... it's about people. It's considered one of the top graphic novels of the past few decades, if not the entire 20th Century.

Edited at 2008-08-28 07:49 am (UTC)

Re: And now, for a completely different perspective

I read "Watchmen" back in college in the late eighties. I read the collected book form. I liked it and was very intrigued to hear that it was going to be made into a movie. The web site is really nifty and the link you provided was certainly cool as well. Thanks!

I'm sorry to hear this. Please send them both my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Hope your family is doing better as well.

It's rough stuff. I worked in a rehab hospital unit for stroke and brain injury patients, but we had some with cancer (glioblastomas and such), too.

My best wishes and hopes for a non-malignant diagnosis and your sister-in-love's full recovery.

It's appreciated.

I'm very sorry to hear the news, I shall keep Chris and your family in my prayers.

I don't know that anyone is "good" and bearing grief - but I do think we all find our own way to bear it. One thing I have learned though, the time to grieve is after a person's gone not before. There's too much to do while we still have them here.

Edited at 2008-08-28 03:16 pm (UTC)

Of course you're right.

Heh. Thanks, Nancy. You're certainly right: Focus on Existence. It's just that it gets easy to forget when eventual mortality pops up and whaps you in the face. I have to do the whole surprised, pissed, worried, sad, resolved progression and get my head around it. Frankly, nothing substantial is known yet, at this point, anyway.

Best wishes for Chris's health.

Yes, it would be good to see her dodge this particular bullet.

Yes, I surely hope so as well.

I should know something more in a week and a half or so.

you and your family are in my prayers. this is hard, i am sure.
and please, don't be concerned about rambling - after all, this is your journal.

take care.

I tend to be vexed mightily by cancer. It's such a grotesque thing to happen to people. It's certainly eaten far too many of my relatives.

yes, cancer can be quite baffling...
my mother recovered from breast cancer, but it killed my dog.
my brother had colon cancer and survived, but now has diverticulitis..
i just don't get these diseases anymore..
perhaps it's just me..

anyhow, how are you doing now? this was awhile ago - but how are you holding up? should we do coffee in the near future, or is that a possibility for you?

Ack! That will teach me to look at my page more often! Coffee sounds good in the near future. Pick any day except today and I'm good.

lemme see what thursday brings...

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