The hand forms a hook
The Rembrandt a flag
Without expectation she called. Her name is Joyce, but of course and as it should be.
“What do I need to sign to make you my advocate?” she asked.
I smiled on my end of the phone, at how love is sometimes not enough to support another life’s rights.
“Nothing, unless we hit a dead end,” I answered. I only smiled because she took me up on my offer to love her.
After we hung up, a fleeting fear passed over my heart in the realization I would grow closer to her than planned. Then I thought of another who’d gone silent on me, and who I’d not reached out to during the depths of my pain. It wasn’t clear to me if I’d been selfish or under illusion.
Everything made sense, and in the past I would have written off such clarity as a kind of victory, but all it proved was that clarity and understanding were not the same, and that the pain of cancer can mask itself as ego when it has no where else to hide. I felt shame, or its psychology, and for a moment, I hated knowing what it felt like to want to die while pretending to live, and for loving so deeply while pretending not to want to be loved in return.
Sometimes Love feels to be more maintenance than repair, while the point of distinguishing the two seems like comparing the sustainability of life against the unsustainability of death.