13. Destroying sheds...or when obvious metaphors become ironic.
She walked into our office with a simple question tinged with venom.
“Do you want my socks?”
In her hand was a pair of her pink calf-high ankle warmers that I had had accidentally put into my sock drawer.
Part of me wanted to laugh, but then for sure I was a dead man.
My wife - love of my life and all that - attempting to pick a fight with me over a beyond minor laundry mishap.
But I knew the wrong word, in this situation, the slightest flaw in intonation, was all it would take for the full cancer tsunami to hit. A rushing wall of emotional crazy launched from the cauldron of stewing chemo-brain juice.
I took a moment, and thought of the shed.
I was recently tasked with taking down a storage shed in the backyard of our Palm Springs house. Contractor had offered to do it for 600 dollars, which seems a tad high for a few hours of manual labor, so I decided to put on the work gloves and have at.
But as much fun as it was to think about, taking a sledge hammer to a thing and reducing it to rubble, making my manhood manifest by fucking up some shit… it was soon apparent that it would not be that easy.
The shed was simple - four by six by nine-ish. and it seemed a simple task. Hit it with a large hammer and it will fall. But this sucker had been built to withstand whatever the desert could throw it at. It was roofed and framed and bolted into a concrete slab. So while my first attempts to take it down involved flailing away with a crow-bar, directly attacking the walls and the door, this did nothing but make my hands hurt.
But I soon realized that if I attacked this thing around the edges, peeling away layers, lifting the edges of the room on each side, taking it on piece by piece, it would eventually fall. I wanted to go in like some kind of dervish, whirling and breaking, but that is not what was going to get the job done.
One stupid piece at a time.
After laboriously stripping it down to its two by four skeleton, a hard shove and it was on the ground with a satisfying thud.
Man had prevailed over structure.
So back to the socks. While I may have wanted to scream “what the hell is wrong with you?” I knew the war, this was, was made up of many smaller battles. You can’t beat cancer in a day, with one mighty knock out blow that takes down the whole sick structure. And you can’t survive with a “cancer wife” if you insist on approaching everything with your logical, non-chemo poisoned mindset. If enduring some sock-related anger is the price to pay for moving forward, and what she needs to get pissed about because everything hurts and every move is a reminder that her body is trying desperately to fix itself so you two can have a life together…. then suck it up, buttercup.
Sheds don’t fall in one swing, and neither does cancer.