A bug’s death in Australia, as photographed by Deborah Kelly
When Aussie blamer Deborah Kelly sent me this marvelous photograph of a giant spider eating a giant dragonfly I was pleased in the extreme, for I exist in a perpetual state of awe over the really superb critters prowling around Australia. Every bug they’ve got out there is not only 28 times as big as the biggest one I’ve ever seen, it’s deadly venomous, too. Deborah says the crunching was so loud she could hear it inside the house.
In her email, Deborah kindly wished me well with all the cancer treatment and stuff (thanks, Deborah!), and it occurred to me that I’d forgotten to tell you guys: one day last week I had about 37 scans and tests. They injected a few pints of radioactive slime into me, topped me off with a couple of quarts of barium, and enjoined me to lie motionless in an assortment of metal tubes, the purpose of which inconvenience was to reveal to an anxious audience (me) whether the year-long series of therapeutic toxic poisonings and physical mutilations has actually done any good.
I must admit, the 48 hours between the completion of the tests and the advisory phone call were somewhat hair-raising. Maybe the treatments hadn’t worked. Maybe the cancer had spread to my lungs or some other useful organ. Maybe I’d be back in chemo again, spending another bald winter with a bloated, steroid-enpuffened moonface, repelled by the sight of a taco, unable to eat anything but grape popsicles. Maybe there’d be more surgery. Maybe I’d be dead in 6 months. Who would Stingray have coffee with? Who would look after Bert? What would my secretary Phil do with his empty days?
Or maybe the tests would be negative, and I could resume my life where I left it in October of 2005. What was I doing in October of 2005? I can’t quite remember — taking out the trash, maybe, or giving the dog a bath.
I was certain the tests wouldn’t be negative, though.
So, the tests were negative. I ain’t got too much cancer no more. At least for now.
Thanks to everyone who mumbled words of support and sent me amusing baubles during this fucking hideous nightmare. It’s oddly pleasant when a few total strangers give a flip whether you live or die.
But ANYWAY, don’t get maudlin; check out Deborah Kelly and Tina Fiveash’s Hey, Hetero!, a delightful public art installation pointing out government sponsored and culturally mandated heteronormativity.