It all happened so fast.

Later, friends sometimes wondered: didn’t you see it coming? No, of course not.  I mean, the headaches, I guess. But who has a spate of headaches and thinks: Oh, I better go get an MRI cuz I think I have a tumor? Even the ER doc didn’t jump to the tumor conclusion.  He said, it’s probably vertigo, and man: I wanted to believe him so bad.

I loved the MRI machine. It was cool. I don’t mean technology-cool. Temp cool. I’d seemingly lost the ability to regulate my body temperature and the chill of the MRI was heaven sent. I wanted to stay in there forever.

The only reason they even did an MRI was to make sure I hadn’t had a “deep stroke,” so I suppose this all could have ended badly if they hadn’t done one. But they did and they didn’t find a stroke. They found something worse…or at least it seemed so to the ER doc, the color draining from his face as he reported that there was a large mass in my head and that it was likely cancerous.

hell night at the ER. Image is reversed, right is left, left is right. That seems poetically so right on.

At that point, my body started shaking violently; they shot me up with tranqs to calm me down. I held my partner’s hand. I slipped into a dream state. They whisked me away to prep me for emergency brain surgery.It all happened so fast, I didn’t have a chance to process anything. And later I wouldn’t have the mental capacity to process anything. Everything came to a crashing halt. I couldn’t remember my life before and my life now was a chaotic mess of bits and pieces that made no sense. But I took notes—not much at first; I just tried to keep track. Then I made pictures, too, cuz that’s how I figure things out, so that’s what I did.

For months and months, that’s what I did.