Last time when I went to Laurier Street, I got a flashback. When I finished with the bitch, I was 3 days without eating anything at all. I was so depressed than even walking was a mix of pain and heroic effort. I decided to go the video rent of my friend Enrique (his parents are from Spain but he doesn’t speak Spanish), which is a coffee shop as well. I was sat in those French tiny coffee tables waiting for my order.
I saw a woman with her bandaged arm. She was drinking her coffee, we exchanged looks and she started to talk to me. I guess my pain was very visible. I told her that my girlfriend left me (the first time she left me), it was one of those rare occasions I said openly I was gay. She took it naturally and she told me she was drinking in that coffee shop because the osteopath whose office was just beside was closed; she was killing time.
She told me she had cancer. That with the osteopath’s help, her arm and pain were fine. I didn’t realize till that moment that her arm was totally swollen. I asked if her cancer was stepping back. She told me it didn’t. Her look changed, her eyes showed me fear and even the need to cry. It was the first person in my life I met with cancer.
Before she left she asked me a favour. There are several contest on the newspapers. She filled one of them and inside the envelope that she gave me, she asked me to put it in red box mail. I promised her to do it, which in fact I did. We said good bye to each other and I went home.
That woman knew she was going to die. The only thing that keeps her with the opposite idea to stay alive (or the possibility to have more time alive) or to forget the inevitable, death, was a contest. Most of the people when they know they are going to die, ask to life for more time. For doing what? Asking for happiness I guess. Happiness can have many shapes or ways. But at the same time, in a contradictory way too, they live their last days stressed by the incoming death. So, finally, they refuse death gaining more time, but they keep the stress and the stress is like fuel. Its consumption is fast when you ask for more time for running.
Just yesterday, when I was at the Lesbian Solidarity Center, that I picked up a brochure about breast cancer. After a surgery or mastectomy, most of the women develop a lymphoid inflammation. It just happens when you got a metastasis (when the cancer goes around another organs, its expansion is faster). That’s why the woman had her arm swollen and bandaged.
It’s almost a year since I saw that woman. When I passed by the coffee shop I remembered her. Coincidently, I was in Laurier Street looking for a woman I met weeks ago…a woman who has cancer too.
Life is to short, happiness pass beside us too fast, memories are forever. Death people return just when the memories bring them back.