My name is Will. I am 22 years old. I’m afraid that I’m going to die.
I am too young to know how to live, but I am too young to know how to die. I’m stuck. Suspended. In stasis. The only measure of control that I exert over my life right now is how the next pattern of letters that comes from my fingers will look.
Old enough to have been broken a few times, old enough to have held those of someone I love, but not old enough to carry the familiar weight of a ring, or to ache sullenly at the prospect of overuse. I guess they’re kinda stuck too, just like me. Stuck on these keys. Stuck on 22.
Life gets complicated when you feel like this, no matter the age, even though so much of it is simple. You’re born, you grow up, you go to school, you get a job, maybe many jobs, you love your friends, your family, you grow up again, fall in love, you get married, create a family of your own, make memories, reminisce on them, grow older, and you hope beyond hope that you got it right.
My life is a simple one, and a good one at that. What’s happening to me is simple, too simple. An uncontrollable growth of cells. Cancer. Just one word to encapsulate the different highs, lows, pathologies, the smiles, and the tears. Mine was gone. It’s back now. It’s just that simple. At least, I wish it was.
I’m not sure how you’re supposed to take The News. You know when you get that phone call, or the doctor walks into the room with too grave of a face for your liking. The first time I was in mild disbelief. The second, complete. Am I supposed to drop to the floor in anguish, or do I put on a brave face and promise things to people that I shouldn’t have to? Do I do something in between like drop to the floor with a brave face? Do I show people my anguish, and they’ll considered that bravery? I’m not even sure if I have to be brave, after all, I’m afraid.
When you get bad news, sometimes it feels like you will never stop getting bad news. It’s ironic really because you see so many people that write more eloquently, sing more forcefully, and create more beautifully when they get bad news that it makes you think it’s easier that way. Maybe it is easier, but it’s harder to see that through blurred eyes.
I guess, ultimately, it’s really just news. It is not good, or bad, it just is. Today is just day one of the rest of my life, no matter how long that is.