It’s a dry leaf that shivers on the branch. What matter if the wind casts it down with a ruthless hand?

-David Eugene Edwards. “Blue Pail Fever”

I’ve begun to think of the basement of Zion as a bad and somewhat expensive tanning salon. I’m sporting a light mocha colored burn on the right side of my face. It’s peeling and doesn’t like it if I apply pressure. It’ll fix itself eventually so all’s cool.

The usual drill this morning: step in. Empty pockets. Remove shoes. Position my body on table. Pull gown down from shoulders. Soft blanky placed over body. Handed bicycle horn to toot if I feel scared or uncomfortable. Today I asked for a yo-yo and they said no. Insert wad of putty in mouth. Batten down mask. Wait for entire process to be over.

Yesterday I had my weekly meeting with my radiation oncologist, Dr. Quivey. Although Princess Sparkle Pony liked to think of her as the “ancient grand dame of the mystic radiologist”, I see her more as the Bitch Goddess of Radiation. Except that she’s not a bitch. But she brings to her practice a warm severity and intelligence that someone curled up in the fetal position might find comforting. She told me that I would be getting an MRI and then meeting with her and Dr. Eisele every six months for the rest of their very long and happy lives.

I promise to you all that I will take care of the flowers at their funerals.

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