Have I got a story for you. Don’t I always? And you love them. Don’t you? You know you do. Admit it. You can’t wait to immerse yourself in the gooey, sticky mess that surrounds me. I’m catchy. Addictive. I’m crack. Fly paper. A train wreck. A can of Pringles. Once you pop, you can’t stop. Not even if you wanted to.
I’m an underdog, so it’s highly likely you’re rooting for me. Well, most of you are. There are probably some who would like to see me maimed on the sidelines. Bleeding profusely. Might even take pleasure in finding me decapitated. But you’re reading, too. Because despite your disdain for me you’re addicted to my every move. It can’t be helped. I hope you can find the courage to be thankful you’re not me. But that’s another story. And one that I’m willing to share some other time when the wounds are not so raw.
Yep, I’m waaaaay off today. I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m ready to run away but am stuck in my own ooey-gooey mess.
I’m lying here in the bed snuggled up next to Ben. I occasionally reach over to rub the fine hair that is trying – in vain – to grow. Any day now the chemo is going to say, “Enough of that growing! Away with you!” And his whispery fine locks will come out in my hands. Scatter themselves across his flannel pillowcase. Get stuck in the saliva that seems to be congruent with mouth sores. Damn Cancer. I am so flipping sick of you. Taking my Bean’s childhood. Taking our friend Taylor yesterday evening. But I have to put up with you. You’re here, you’re destructive, and I have to figure out a way to deal with you.
But that mound of laundry is sitting in the corner of the bedroom. And it’s staring at me. Giving me the evil eye. I start to drift off to sleep only to be shaken awake with a nightmarish sensation that they’re coming to get me. The stains have formed an impenetrable bond and are able to stand on stiff legs. They’re raising from their mass grave that I’ve tried to bury them in and they’re surrounding the bed. Clamoring for a piece of my soul. “I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU, LAUNDRY! YOU’LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE!” And that’s when they destroy me, ripping me to shreds, leaving me with nothing clean to wear at my funeral.
Cancer and laundry are very similar in the way that they simply take over if given enough room to spread. I’ve been on a mission lately to save my son from cancer taking over his sweet little body, now I’m going to raise awareness for the silent killer that stalks us all: Laundry.
People Against Dirty Clothes. Wash for the Cure. Pray for Tide (with or without an infusion of Febreze). The ribbon will be dirt colored marred with a variety of stains, but with a tiny area on the corner bathed in brilliant whiteness. The scratch and sniff version will have a slight tinge of bleach surrounded by the overpowering smell of congealed ketchup. At least, that’s what MY kids’ clothes smell like.
See? I told you I had a story. Aren’t you glad I’m not your mom? Aren’t you glad I’m not tucking you in at night and telling you my terribly demented tales? Actually, I don’t do this to my kids. I’m too busy telling Madeline stories about a character I’ve named “Princess Nine”. She’s a bit of a brat but always learns her lesson before the story is over. And then Ben. I used to tell him stories about Buzz Lightyear telling him the need for a good night’s sleep so he could help save the Universe. But lately, I’ve been using story-telling time to reassure him how wonderful he is. How many lives he’s changed. What a strong boy he is. I hope he believes me because that story is simply NOT a fairy tale.
Okay! Okay! Stop staring at me. Which load wants to go first?