Sunday, April 4, 2010

In Your Own World

"How come none of you all ask me why I curl me hair?"

About 2 feet away, while I was having lunch with my Daughter Kaity in DC, this is what some dude screamed out to a crowded restaurant. He was glassy-eyed, loud and popped in and out just as fast as he could ask that question.

The restaurant froze for a second. I grabbed my knife––growing up in LA, I guess––and watched every move he was making. Watching his hands. Watching his eyes. Watching my Daughter. It didn't phase Kaity. In fact, she just laughed as he walked out of the door he came in. The wait staff didn't move towards him or say anything to us after he left. I told Kaity, "welcome to DC."

I didn't think about that surreal moment until I started my 26 mile drive home that night. This dude was totally and completely in his own world. He had something on his mind and he was going to share. Probably didn't have anyone to share with, is my guess. Probably didn't have a blog like me. Probably living on the streets. (I did that for 6 months in LA in the '80's).

Escaping to a quiet place––through meditation, in your bedroom, in a middle of a party––is one of the things that helped me deal with cancer. I would "zone out" so I could focus on me. So I would feel the pain from chemo. Feel the radiation burning my skin. Feel myself fighting for my life. Why? Because I didn't want to forget. I wanted to tell anyone who would listen, that cancer is NOT a death sentence. It is not the end of your life. You have today to live. Live it.

Even if it's in your own world.