Tag Archive: purpose

Metaphor of the Mind

Every morning the child would wake with excitement and rush out the door. Running past the white calla lilies of the wetlands and along the lush green hills that ebbed and flowed amid the mountainous range—like the rushing or recession of the seas—the child could hear the harmonies from Town Hall drape the clouds then land at the ears with a loving cool whisper. When having reached Town Hall, the child would peak through a rear window to get a good glimpse inside. A choir of 12 was seen from behind, with its leader in clear view, feverishly making sweeping hand gestures to keep the choir in time. The soaring sounds struck the child’s soul with the intense sensations of joy and wonder. The child was often moved to tears, tears that purged restlessness. It was the best part of the day. Every day. Like clockwork the child maintained the routine for months on end: running past the wetlands and along the hills, all the while maintaining the visage of Town Hall in sight.

But the child would never go inside, even knowing the musical ensemble was made up of all ages. The child maintained a distance, though desperately yearned to be a part of the experience.

There were rumblings in the air among the townsfolk that a storm was coming. The child paid no mind.

At first the storm only began as a sprinkle, as if the skies parted with the sole intention of providing hydration to the picturesque lands of the child’s hometown. As time went on, however, the days turned more brisk and bleak. The drizzle became a torrential downpour that created pools of water along the low lying areas of the hills. The flooding waters made travel impossible. Property owners attempted to salvage their homes, as the floods washed over their floorboards. The winds gushed with such exceeding force, knocking down everything that crossed its path. The child’s parents forbade the child to leave home in midst of the danger. The dark days turned into even murkier months.

The child’s depression grew. Like a caged animal, the child circled the bedroom with nothing to do, since everything was read, played with or already pieced together. The child would look out of the window, at the gloomy skies, praying for them to pass. The child could take no more. Hell bent on making a break for it, the child disobeyed parental orders and snuck outside after bedtime.

The moonlight provided enough insight into the new world the storm left behind.

It was a nightmare. Trees were uprooted, the calla lilies drowned, and now rivers existed where roads once were. Homes were devastated, cars lay to waste, and no sounds were heard but the thrashing of the winds. The child’s heart plummeted. A harsh realization hit, and the child let out a startling scream. The previous 15-minute walk now took two hours to reach Town Hall, as the child was driven off course numerous times by nearly impassible roadblocks. The smile upon the child’s face having finally arrived vanished in an instant. Town Hall was no longer Town Hall at all. It was a mere shell of its former existence. A tree had fallen upon its roof, exposing the interior to the harsh elements. Seeped in water, the wood structure began to soften and corrode, causing it to fold in on itself. But somehow that rear window remained intact. The child, though hesitant to look inside the window, did so and quickly turned away in sobs. The interior was a wreck. No longer fearful of going inside, the child stood among the tangled seats and the soft floorboards. In tears, the child let out a low hum and then sang a sweet soft melody to its dying friend. Upon hearing the tune, two little sparrows flew inside Town Hall and perched themselves on a ceiling beam. Having noticed the guests, the child sang a tad louder for them to hear. Shortly thereafter, a trio of squirrels made their way into Town Hall and nestled in a corner feeding on the acorns from the fallen tree. Encouraged by the added audience, the child sang as loud as possible with closed eyes, as if the gesture helped boost inner confidence. When the song came to an end, and the child’s eyes were once again open, the child immediately became crippled with intense fear and stumbled on some rubbish. Before the child stood all the inhabitants of the hilly wetlands, from herds of deers to chipmunks, frogs, gophers, and beavers. Various species of birds and butterflies flocked at the ceilings creating a moving canopy of color. One eagle flew alone, as if the surveyor of them all. Even the creatures of the sea found homes in the pockets of water throughout Town Hall.

Surprisingly, the animals didn’t turn on one another. They didn’t make a rush for the child. They simply stood in wait.

The child, regaining composure, quickly let out another song to the amusement of the crowd. The birds fluttered their wings, the alligator thumped its tail and the rabbits hopped in place. Soon the skies joined in, making noises that seemed to perfectly harmonize with the bellows of the small child. The synchronous sounds jarred the dark clouds, causing them to slowly disband from its brethren. The deep purples and grays of the sky began to turn blue in hue. Sunshine began to cut through every fissure of the facade and dropped down from the broken ceiling top, cascading upon all those who stood inside.

The storm had finally come to an end.

In the dawn of a new day, the animals began to disperse. But the child remained inside, basking in the light.

 In what ways can you relate to this story? Please let me know by commenting below.

One Man, One Ball: No Bueno.

An Honest Portrayal of One Man’s Battle with Testicular Cancer

Andy, if you haven't already guessed!  Photo by Bartosz Cerkaski

Photo by Bartosz Cerkaski

He can be unapologetically offensive. He’s not afraid to get graphic. He likes to stun just to see your reaction. That’s Andy! You may have a similar Andy, or seen one on TV. He’s the fashionable, fit and witty #gay sidekick. Depending on the era in which your Andy lives he either goes gaga for Lady GaGa or Material Girl Madonna. As for this Andy, never, ever, mention Lady Gaga or he’ll give you a verbal beat down. This is not to say that all gay men, or even those named Andy, fit some neat #stereotype. I simply mean he’s that confidant you can confide in, who will also chastise you for your music and fashion choices.

I met Andy, my ex’s former #roommate, about five or six years ago. We only ever exchanged a few words, but that was all it took for me to gather that he liked to use wit as a #weapon. I pitied those caught in the crossfire. And I hoped I wasn’t one unbeknownst to me. Fast forward to the World of #Facebook. We reconnected through a “like” here or a brief comment there. Until he messaged me out of the blue one day with a big revelation.

“I don’t really know you,” he said, “but I just found out I have cancer.”

All it took was that brief declaration to alter a reality and a relationship. With such an intimate reveal Andy no longer became that bitchy Facebook acquaintance. Subsequent intense conversations introduced me to a more layered and complex man than I previously gave credit. His austere facial expressions now expose a stoicism. Like a truffle, his tough exterior gives way to a soft and sweet soul. He endures a hardship not readily apparent in his appearance. He’s a man you have to question to get to know. If you quickly judge him you’re sure to be mistaken. Now faced with #death, I wanted to learn more about what makes this intriguing man tick.

Here’s what I found:

Me:  How old were you when you were diagnosed with testicular #cancer?

Andy:  I was 32 years old. Three months after I had come back to #Poland, after having lived in the U.S. for 13 years. I didn’t come back because I was sick. It was all a huge surprise.

(He pauses to light a cigarette.)

I came back to Poland the first day of April 2013. Healthy. By August I felt something wrong with my ball. A week later I had my ball removed.

Me: Damn, that’s rough! What felt wrong?

Andy: One of my balls had gotten swollen, to the size twice as big as the other one.

I had just gotten accepted to a medical school.

Me: Wow. Medical school?

That’s kind of ironic to learn of that as you are about to study #medicine.

Andy: Yeah I know.

And I didn’t want to go exercise with all the other boys that were half my age. So I wanted an excuse not to go to my gym class.

Me: Wait, you wanted to see the doctor just to cut gym class?

(laughing fit ensues.)

Andy:  I never thought it was gonna be a big deal.

I felt one of my balls feel heavier than the other one, because I used to do too much jerking off. Sorry for the TMI! But that’s what I thought.

Me:  That’s hysterical! You thought you caused that from too much masturbating?

Andy: Yup. I am Polish after all.

Me: Imagine that could happen? Men would be terrified everywhere!

So what was the very first thought that popped into your head when you learned it was cancer?

Andy: I thought, I can deal with it, but I was worried about my parents.

Can I tell you a little short story about when I first found out about it?

Me: Sure!

Andy: My mother, who doesn’t go to church by the way, had given me a chain with you know–holy Mother Mary … Basically, I had to wear it because it was a gift. So I did. When I went to the hospital to get my ball checked if it was cancer, the second I get there before they give an ultrasound, the chain breaks and the Mother of Jesus/made up bitch/Madonna wannabe, falls off my chain.

And I swear I knew I had cancer.

Me: Wow. That’s such an interesting omen. So you felt like it was a sign?

Andy: I did somehow. Not for me, but because my Polish family is so religious I felt it meant something.

As soon as that happened I was like, ‘OK, I have cancer.’

If my necklace had the REAL #Madonna hanging off my chest I wouldn’t have cancer. So #religion is bad. Believe in whores who like what they do, instead of made up people.

Me: You’re a nut!

Andy: Is that nuts? Not really.

Me: How did you emotionally prepare yourself to tell your parents? What did you say? How did they handle it?

Andy: Well the doctor told me there’s a 99% chance that it is cancer. I called my mom and said, ‘They found a growth on my ball and it’s probably nothing, so they have to examine it,’ and not to worry.

But I knew it was cancer because he told me.

Me: Oh man.

Andy: He asked about my age and everything and he said, ‘Yeah … prepare yourself.’

Me: He said that?

Andy: Yes.

Me: Even without knowing for sure?

Andy: Yeah. I went for that checkup on Tuesday. Thursday morning they were taking my ball out.

He said they were gonna take out my ball and they wouldn’t know for sure until they get the results that take like two weeks, but he said, ‘Get ready, you have cancer.’

This hospital bed won't kill his vibe!

This hospital bed won’t kill his vibe!

Me: Damn!

Andy: He told me they were gonna take it out and I was gonna be fine. He didn’t mention #chemo. Actually I called my sister first and told her not to tell our parents, because I didn’t want to worry them. My sister told me I have to tell them what’s going on. That’s when I called my mom. I thought, ‘No one has to know.’

Me: The phone call no mom wants to hear.

Andy: Not at all. And I felt bad because I had lived in NY for almost 14 years against my parents will and then finally I come back and they are happy and then I have to be like, ‘Just kidding, I have cancer!’

Me: Oof.

Andy: That was not on my agenda at all. It was supposed to be a happy ending.

Me: So you told your mom and dad. How did that go?

Andy: I told my mom when she was driving her car.

Me: Bad timing!

Andy: She almost crashed.

But she’s tough. She told my dad and he has been crying ever since.

Me: Awe! I love sensitive men.

Andy: Yeah, he’s an #angel.

Me: You said you knew you could deal with it. Have you been dealing with it? Have you been coping? Is it possible to cope?

Andy: Give me 10 seconds. I’m getting a bear.

OMG! Beer! Not a bear!

Me: I don’t know what you’re into! I didn’t want to ask.

Andy: Not bears. This is like being on #Oprah, girl.

Me: So you said you could deal with this. Have you been coping well? How the f*ck do you cope with this?

Andy: I went in denial, really. I worried about my #family. The oh-so-dramatic family I was born into.

Me: I’m sure they’ll love to read that part.

Andy: They don’t speak #English so they won’t. We’re good.

The only thing I thought about was if I could deal with death.

Me: What conclusion did you come to?

Andy: That I am 100% sure there is something after this #Earth, that there is a different dimension to all of this. Just like there is life on different planets. It would be really arrogant to assume that you don’t go anywhere after you die. The #universe is, what’s the word I’m looking for?, infinite! I had thought that way before I got cancer, so to me it wasn’t as scary.

Me: So this thinking comforts you then?

Andy: For sure. And it’s not to say I want to die tomorrow and I don’t care, I want to live for as long as I can because I want to leave something behind, and I don’t think I have done that. But I don’t believe for one second that when your life on Earth ends that is it. And I can’t believe anyone can think that. I think that’s rude.

Me: What do you want to leave behind?

Andy:  Wow. You’re really going there.

I mean, I don’t have the power that famous people do. Haha! Obviously! But I do believe in a sense of #humor and I believe that is THE most important thing in the world.

Me: I agree. We need it in this world of ours.

Andy: I believe that a person without a sense of humor is a potential serial killer.

Me: Not sure about the serial killer part, though.

So what mistakes of yours do you want people to learn from?

Andy: So you really are the white lesbian Oprah.

I can be your Gay-le!

Me: I. Just. Died.

Andy: Ok, my mistakes. Well, let’s just say I did coke for 10 years straight like it was water. And I will say that I have had the most amazing experiences doing coke. I have also hit the lowest of the low and I would say to someone who has never tried it, don’t ever do it!

It creeps up on you and it’s not worth it. If I could go back to the time before I did my first bump I would have never done it.

I can’t believe I’m saying this.

So when is your talk show happening?

Me: I love the #honesty.

What else?

Andy:  Don’t take no for an answer. No matter what you do. It’s better to be rejected than boring.

You will never make the entire world #love you.

Concentrate on what you do.

Me: What do you want for yourself? And is it different now after having had cancer?

Andy: I’m worse now. I #drink more and #smoke more. So no, don’t do what I do. That’s my advice.

Me: Oh no. Why are you worse? If you are worse than are you secretly not dealing well?

Andy: I’m worse because death became so close that it was almost palpable and I wasn’t scared. So now I’m just like, ‘F*ck it! Let’s see who wins,’ which is not good.

Me: Wow.

Andy: Wow. I have never been more honest, ever.

Me: That’s honest!

So you feel invincible?

Andy: Noooooo, not at all. I like the fight and I don’t believe that if I die that’s gonna be the end of me, but I am scared of that, too. I don’t wanna die without leaving a mark behind me, but maybe this interview will be it, so maybe after this I will give up.

Me: If liking that fight, that challenge, of almost chasing death doesn’t that mean you are sort of giving up on your life now? Being the best you can be now?

Andy: I want to be the best I can, but it’s easier said than done.


#death, #life, #spirituality, #purpose, #cancer, #testicularcancer, #Poland, #chemo, #universe, #world, #gay, #lesbian, #cocaine, #mortality,