Tales of a tumor III – Comfortably numb

Part III – Comfortably numb

“When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown, the dream is gone.
I have become, comfortably numb…”

Pink Floyd

The thought of impending surgery has taken over my consciousness for the past few days. Every aspect of my life as I know it is clouded by the influence exerted by this seemingly ephemeral event. The scar will be permanent, though.


It is this stagnation that bothers me. Solitude is chosen while isolation is imposed. My tumor has left me somewhere in the middle. Neither is this state chosen or unyielding. It can be altered by choice, by being “pro-active” as Covey would have offered, plugging his 7 habits. In my case it wouldn’t prove as effective as promised. The reason being I like it this way.


Woody in his infectious neurotic candour, in Annie Hall, categorizes life as being “divided into the horrible and the miserable. The – the horrible would be like, um, I don’t know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don’t know how they get through life. It’s amazing to me.


You know, and the miserable is everyone else. That’s – that’s – so – so – when you go through life – you should be thankful that you’re miserable because you’re very lucky to be miserable.”


This misery was and still is necessary. I need this misery to write, to think, to feel alive. I feel I am addicted to it. As I had written earlier it is important to be miserable at times.
Its bitterness lingers on my lips, on my tongue, till I ingest it.


Now, the line between the two is quickly blurring. The line is a 10cm incision in my left calf. It will determine my classification. It separates the morose from the morbid.


Fear of the unknown is like no other. Even in the most insipid moments, it excites, paralyses and often than not makes one think. Mind roams free. Transcending walls of rationality it conspires with dreams to sabotage thought. In the grip of fear I seek solace. It is this fear that facilitates expression of innate desires which otherwise remain suppressed under the burden of reality. When cornered, clarity prevails.


I can be fairly anally retentive, especially when it comes to analyzing life situations, poring over the minutia of everyday existence. In one of these many moments I realize that I could have done nothing to avert this or change anything if I could or wanted to, for the better. Shit Happens.


What is more disturbing or comforting, depends how you choose to look at it, is my perception of life is just the same. Nothing has changed. This may sound absurd, but I always felt that when I have a tumor (yes not if but when, had the feeling long back!) things would change. I would have some sort of vision or insight into life, the kind emanating from extreme despair. I have none yet.


This stillness gets to me. My plans for the future are on a hold. I am asphyxiated by my own ambitions which refuse to stand down and have to be coerced into submission. There are times when I want to take the hit and roll with it. I have begun to become accustomed to my current state of being. May be I always was. This familiarity, in the face of turmoil makes me feel like I have become comfortably numb.


It restricts me and also sets me free.

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