Lately I’ve been writing quite a lot, along with my co-writer. In the last three weeks we finished a full draft of a screenplay, which is faster than I’ve ever written a first draft–but it wasn’t pretty, and honestly neither is the draft. Which is not to disparage it–you don’t disparage a big lump of clay that vaguely resembles an elephant–it’s not bad, it’s too early for it to be good or bad. Unless, of course, you put it on display with other people’s more finished elephants, and say it should look like an elephant–which is (of course) what we have done, submitting applications to the Film Independent and Sundance Labs. Whatever. The deadlines were helpful in softening the clay and doing the initial elephant, so maybe that is the reward in itself.
The first deadline was May 1st, and the second was May 5th. Even if you have drafted some of the materials, like artistic statements, synopses, and cover letters, the last days before these deadlines always involve a five and six hours sessions of revising and polishing, so by the evening of the fifth I was pretty fried–getting home a little late to start the prep for my annual round of “medical screenings” on the 6th. Yes–those screenings.
I arrived at the hospital in my normal state–cleaned out and dehydrated–and realized we were doing an upper endoscopy as well as the colonoscopy, and discovered that since I apparently gagged a little on the tube the last go round, I was getting a deeper general anesthesia this time. They found a few things in both stomach and colon to remove–which everyone seems to take in stride, but it’s not my favorite–it makes me feel like there’s some failure in the system. Either I’ve been laxer in my diet, or my body is just getting old and deteriorating–my telomeres are getting shorter or whatever. I know it’s both, though I only have control over one: I’ve been going with the flow, eating meat just to be agreeable, giving in to my sugar cravings, and not juicing and eating a ton of cabbage. The thought of re-establishing all sorts of discipline makes me tired, especially when my whole body is bloated from being inflated with air, and sore from being snipped at. I stayed home from work yesterday and went today. This afternoon at my desk I was thinking, in words, that I feel like my life force is being sucked out of me. A few minutes later the doctor called today to say they needed to cut something out that they couldn’t do on Tuesday, so I’ll need to do it all again in a month. The thing they are cutting is “not cancer” which means I’m at the high-class problem end of the spectrum for being part of a demographic that is highly susceptible to cancer, but I’m throwing myself a very tiny pity party anyway. In two weeks I’m also having and MRI and an x-ray to make sure that the back pain I’m having is also of the “not cancer” variety. Let’s all pray that I don’t look back and wish for tonight’s problems. Count your blessings and be grateful for them, otherwise, when there’s less, you have to look back and feel like an asshole.