War, Hell & Melon Helmuts

After a firefight, there is always the immense pleasure of aliveness. The trees are alive. The grass, the soil – everything. All around you things are purely living, and you among them, and the aliveness makes you tremble. You feel an intense, out of the skin awareness of your living self – your truest self. In the midst of evil you want to be a good man. You want decency. You want justice and courtesy, things you never knew you wanted. Though it’s odd, you’ve never more alive then when you’re almost dead.

You recognize what’s valuable. Freshly, as if for the first time, you love what’s best in yourself and in the world, all that might be lost. At the hour of dusk you sit at your foxhole and look out on a wide river turning pinkish red, and at the mountains beyond, and although in the morning you must cross the river do terrible things and maybe die, even so, you find yourself studying the fine colors on the river, you feel wonder and awe at the setting of the sun, and you are filled with a hard, aching love for how the world could be and always should be…..

I wrote those words just after storming the beach one summer in Winnipeg. Turns out there was no actual conflict, but at the time, I believed there was and meant every word…. sitting down for a smoke after digging a foxhole with Glen, my sergeant, we got to talking and I shared what I had written and we just sat quiet – letting the enormity of tomorrows actions play through our minds…. I only have one picture of Glen from that night and when things get bad, with me, now, going through all these health concerns – it helps to look at the picture and remember, we made it through then and I’ll make it through now…..



Glen, moments before we jumped out of our foxhole and unleashed hell...

Looks can be deceiving, Glen was one tough son-of-a-bitch. We heard later, he was killed after going AWOL, the pressure finally proving too  much, all hopped up on cat-nip he chased a piece of string into on-coming traffic…. I’ll miss you Glen… I’ll never forget you.

Spent a chunk of today in the ER, — saw my cardiologist Tuesday – prognosis… another ablation is what we’re going to do – apparently it’s the smartest and most prudent course of action. No definite date yet, but I’ll keep you posted. I was having plenty of episodes of Fib, even on the high dose of Propafenone, apparently, he let me know that there is a brand new wonder drug he wants me to try, so he pulled me off the Propafenone, had me stop cold turkey, starting the new drug right away. That was yesterday, wednesday…. took it… went almost immediately into A-Fib and stayed there for the next 20 hours or so. Enough was enough and so this AM, having not clicked back into Sinus rhythm… in we went… fully expecting another Cardioversion.

Nope, they pumped me full of IV’s, fluids, Oxygen etc etc and the on-call guy called my cardiologist…. who said – NOPE make him ride it out, give the new drug a chance to work.. so they sent me home still in Fib…. it’s a bad feeling to go into the hospital with an issue, knowing this is the place that will make it all better and then leave a few hours later, basically exactly the same as when you came in, save for all the new holes up and down your arm……. It’s…. bloody…. hard…..

It 10PM at night and I’ve finally gone back in Sinus Tack myself….. after about 30 hours of borderline war…… where is Glen when I need him…..

Have a Great Day.