Live fast, die young

As I’m headed towards the second of these, what about the first? I suppose to ‘live fast’ is to cavort about in a drink and drug fuelled frenzy, enjoying all the good stuff, whilst driving one’s body headlong into an early grave.

Well firstly, I’ve never been cool enough to be a good candidate for this lifestyle. For example, I can’t dance in a remotely entertaining or attractive way, have more than once worn the wrong shoes in order to not get into clubs and when I could drink, was a most placid, as opposed to vivacious drunk. I’ve never really gotten into mischief and would feel bad about trashing hotel rooms.

No I’m clearly not cut out to be that kind of rockstar. But I can’t help thinking I’m missing a trick here. An old friend (who will definitely remain nameless) pointed out to me quite early on in the coming to terms with cancer that a considerable silver lining exists. ‘You can get away with anything now!’ they gleefully exclaimed. ‘Like – all sorts of illegal stuff’. I’m sure I could, but I’m really unimaginative when it comes to rule breaking. I’d be a rubbish radical!

But on the plus side, I’ve got a head start with the all nighters on account of the insomnia. But honestly I cherish a good eight hours like the biggest luxury that can be afforded to anyone. And then there’s the newly discovered joy of nap time!

I guess I could try some drugs – I’ve got plenty of morphine and it is rather warming, like a triple dram of fine single malt, without the rough edge, but with some really unwelcome hallucinations. No thanks! Smoking won’t help with the running or lung cancer. Drinking’s out – if you buy me booze, you’re hereby agreeing to drive me to hospital! I’m addicted to running and coffee and they’re great. No need for MDMA or cocaine really. Plus I’ve started to really value earning my highs. They mean more that way. Something to do with the Maslow pyramid, I imagine.

How about promiscuity? That’s all well and good if people are throwing themselves at your feet like with rock stars, but I’m terrible with first impressions on account of the social awkwardness and face for radio, so it doesn’t really come up. Relationships are also out for the most tragic of reasons. I couldn’t let someone fall in love with me (however unlikely that is) only to lose me soon afterwards. Trust me – that has a profound effect on your life and I’m desperate to avoid being responsible for anyone feeling like that.

What else do unscrupulous people do for fun? I’m pretty sure that dead people’s families aren’t liable for their debts, so I could get a load of loans and live luxuriously without fear of consequences catching up with me. Running away to Mexico is no more crazy an idea than any other now – every single thing about my life is utterly absurd.

I wonder if it’s equally absurd to live normally and pretend I’m not dying. What’s the point in saving for a future you don’t have? Why be kind to my knees when they don’t have to get me through another four years let alone forty?

What’s the logical extension of this? Forget about chemo? Live in this moment a bit longer?  No need to even ‘worry about it tomorrow’ because there’ll be no mañana. 

Again, no. Because we humans are hardwired to be tenacious and seek self preservation, even when there’s no point. I’ve developed a habit for chasing lost causes, so here’s hoping I can suffer the chemo and have some more good times, hopefully by summer. It’s the bitterest of pills to swallow, but it’s time to be that sensible boring adult again and take my medicine.

‘Live slow, die young’ doesn’t sound exciting or adventurous. But that’s who I am and the fast lane just doesn’t fit.  This is evidenced by some recent purchases that include bedding, pillows, fleece lined joggers and slipper socks.  This chemo will be nothing if not comfy!

Exhibit B: We all know that there’s one thing just as certain as death.  I’d better get round to that tax return…

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