Friday, December 19, 2014

Battle Scars

I got back to my half-packed studio apartment around 1:00pm, 70 degrees, a beautiful fall day. My anxious Dad who can't sit still without drumming his fingers and yet spent two listless days in a hospital with me while I whined and felt like my stomach had been turned inside out, helped me out of his car and to the sidewalk. He carried heavy grocery bags and took small steps so that I could shuffle behind him. Bent over and running my fingers along the sides of the buildings as we passed just in case I decided I couldn't walk anymore. I was so excited to leave the hospital that I hadn't bothered to wait for a wheelchair and I'd ripped the irritating pain patch off hours ago. I was starting to feel the effects.

The previous week I had my gallbladder removed, my stomach reconstructed, and my nerves clipped so hopefully all my gastritis woes would be behind me. This following an extremely emotional time in the ER where I came to grips with the fact that I would be missing work and weeks of performances for All My Sons. Countless friends and family members were there to console me from over the phone, in person, and through some very beautiful floral arrangements. One particular special lady brought me magazines and sat by my side while I slept, mumbled and hyperventilated. Another special guy wrecked his back sleeping on my hospital room sofa so I wouldn't be alone and let me rest my tear-streaked snot-nosed face on his arm. A very special Mom helped me practice walking and getting to the restroom when I was too physically weak to sit up and too emotionally spent to do anything but cry. I'd never felt so lucky to have these people in my life while simultaneously being completely miserable about events completely out of my control.

On the warm fall day I got out of the hospital I sat down on my courtyard apartment's lobby radiator while Dad carried the groceries up the stairs. Anthony came just in time to ease me into bed and prop pillows under my feet and tell me that the pain wouldn't be forever. I cried for maybe the 1,000th time in ten days and he stroked my hand while I fell asleep.

I woke up around dusk to eat some chicken noodle soup and curl up on the couch like a rickety old cat. I watched History Detectives with Dad, who confided in me that it's exactly how he pictured us spending my recovery time together. It was a rock n' roll episode tracing Bob Dylan's guitar and a collage made by Frank Zappa. The collage struck me. An artist more commonly known for his musical experimentation producing such a wild piece of artwork that expressed his musical thoughts on paper before sitting down to write the music itself. I asked myself: "What have I created lately?" I fell still at the thought of unfinished projects, once desired creative goals and this blog.

Armed with new battle scars I'm ready to run back into the trenches of my creative outlets. To do what I set out to do when I moved to Chicago and get my writing back on track. Nothing can stop me now, not even my own internal organs.