Friday, August 17, 2007

Anticlimax to the Maximum

Barely over six years ago I finished my final round of chemotherapy for my first cancer. I watched as the last drip made its way through the tube and into the catheter in my chest. My nurse disconnected the chemo tubing and threw it away. That’s it, no more chemotherapy ever again, I remember thinking.

When I left the hospital the following day, my nurses gave me a banner that read Congratulations Ben! The doctors and nurses all signed it, and several gave me a hug. One would think this was a hugely important accomplishment worthy of a Diddy yacht party. But actually, it was the most anticlimactic event of my life because I had to begin radiotherapy just three days later.

Three days ago I officially graduated from the University of Virginia in the second most anticlimactic event of my life. If I had graduated back in May then I would’ve participated in the ceremony, including walking The Lawn, sweating my ass off in the heat while hungover, and listening to John Grisham give the commencement speech. But UVA frowns on people like me that need more than their eight-semester allotment. There is no ceremony for me until next May, which I’ll be invited to but will likely decline out of both spite and not giving a shit.

My old first-year hallmates were so ashamed I missed the May graduation deadline that they voted to ban me from the 25-year hall reunion in 2027. Over the next 22 years I plan on making a strong appeal to relinquish the ban. If I can convince the almighty Zim, who lived across the hall and one room over, then I should be welcome.

And the question of the day…“Ben, now that you’re done with college, what are you going to do?”

Three years ago when I had my epiphany that I should write a book, I told my friend Hamburgers, “If I sell even one copy then it will all be worth it.”

Shortly after I became drunk with ambition, already pondering which car I would buy. On one hand was the Aston Martin Vanquish for a quarter-million.And on the other hand was the McLaren F1 for a cool mil.I really didn’t care all that much about the money. It was just fun thinking of all the cool shit I could buy if I sold millions of copies. My brother used to say those fantasies made buying lottery tickets worthwhile, even though he knew he’d never win.

When I got to my last year of college still with zero books sold, I began thinking rationally. Now I merely wanted to make enough money so that I didn’t have to get a real job and could write another book. Unless a significant advancement heads my way over the next couple months, that doesn’t seem likely, either.

But like Tony Montana from Scarface might say, The World Is Mine.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

haha this is my first time to the site man you can write...very skilled...so did you get down on that medicinal marijuana or nah

Nim said...

Man I so know what you mean with that whole anti-climax-chemo thing. Jees. 5 years post here. Keep breathing buddy. I thought about writing a book too. But I dunno, I don't think people are interested these days, there are so many of us who have had cancer and so many people are still afraid of it despite the survival stats rising year on year. Cancer: everyone's number one health fear...because there's usually no rhyme or reason.

Be well.