Friday, January 02, 2004

the barnhart new concise dictionary of etymology

n. 1577, New Latin metastasis transition from one subject to another (a term in rhetoric), from Late Latin metastasis transition, from Greek metastasis transference, removal, change, from methistanai to remove, change (meta- over, across + histanai to place). The sense of a transfer of pain, or disease from one part of the body to another, especially of cancerous cells, is first recorded in 1663. Metastasize v. 1907, formed from English metastasis + ize.

Yep. Two nodes, about two centimeters in size, in the right temporal lobe. No edema, no bleeding. I hear the words and can't visualize a thing. Isn't it all grey goop in there? Is the cancer like raisins in oatmeal? Big fucking raisins. But small enough that the doctor says, we found it early. Let's radiate those suckers. My parents and I wrangle over the best time for me to come home. You don't have to come right away. It's New Year's Day and I'm walking around the Mission with the phone jabbing my ear, thinking idly that someone might consider mugging me in my distracted state, and how nice it might be if they did so I could throw them on the ground a few times. We don't want you to put your life on hold.

And I don't know how to say it. This is my life. Sometimes I have these flashes where I think, my god, this is my real life. It's hard to explain. In my real life, my dad has cancer and I'm going home to be with him, and to help my mom. In my real life, my editor and my sensei and my teacher all say, what do you need? Your job will be here when you get back. The dojo's not going anywhere. The troupe will be here, I'm just worried about you; are you OK? In my real life, my friend Princess comes over and we go out for Thai food, and then he sits in my studio while I clean and he writes a Craig's List posting to help me shed some unneeded art supplies. When he leaves, I hug him and say, you've always been there to keep me from falling off the couch, which is a reference to a story from our younger, drug-addled days (all three of them), and he tells me that it was easier this time.

This is my real life. My father is serene, my mother sounds like she's patched up with tape, and I'm a wisecracking zombie. But god, are people ever coming through.