Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Life and Death of My Make-A-Wish Gift

As published on CancerFightClub

Batmobile or bust, I thought, so when the Make-A-Wish Foundation denied my request for the Batmobile because it went over 10 miles per hour (and not because of its rockets), I declined any wish. Friends convinced me to reconsider. I became a sounding board for their fantasies: sitcom roles, championship sports events, and girls. Dates with divas escalated to strippers and then willing participants. “Tell Make-A-Wish you need her for your cancer… tell them to get another one for me, too,” a friend said.

Time feels different in childhood. Three months later my entire left hip bone would be removed and the muscles would be stapled and taped to other muscles. But with so many epic battles in Madden 2001 with friends and homework assignments remaining before surgery, three months was a lifetime. Though I couldn’t comprehend that life would be different without a left pelvis, maybe my subconscious knew and pushed me towards my wish.

I had always been fascinated with consumer electronics. In middle school I envisioned my bedroom as a gamer and movie buff’s paradise with booming Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and beanbag chairs. But it was not to be on my 19-inch TV/VCR combo that only had an A/V jack.

When we had become of driving age, my after-school sporting and video gaming friends expanded and we took over my house’s rec room in the afternoons. My parents happily obliged.

Once down the stairs, the rec room opened into a wide space with exercise equipment and a billiards table. To the far left was a long nook with three couches, blankets, a heater, a television and, after my friends and I took over, video games.

The rec room had mostly gone unaltered since I could remember. The thick carpet soothed cold feet and the dim lighting calmed overworked brains. It would always be a haven, beginning from when I could barely climb onto the couch next to my dad during Redskins games. Keep reading, here.