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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reply to Brian

(This makes more sense read in conjunction with Brian Calling)


Hello Brian. There I was, dignifying your existence by creating for you a persona you don’t deserve and never will. I have done you the unearned honour of anthropomorphising you, by giving you a name and crediting you with intelligence you don’t possess, but we’ll go with that for as long as it suits me. About ten minutes, I suspect....

You’re dead right when you say you’re not too smart. When it comes down to it, you are really my flesh and blood, literally, and your one purpose in life is to reproduce your damaged cells. My cells, actually. Nothing and no-one could be more mine than you are. And you are utterly powerless, Brian, to be anything other than what you are. You’re trapped in a way I am not and never will be.

You are different, that’s fatally true. Every other cluster of cells in my body knows when to turn itself off when it doesn’t need to reproduce any more. Not you. You burrow down into the useful parts of my brain (Hi Brain!) and sap its life force. You take its nutrients and its space and smash its structure and leave your detritus – a mess for someone else to clean up. You’re the super-obese man on the crowded bus, Brian – or that’s what you’re trying to become. But you don’t make choices, because you can’t.

In the past I think I’ve respected you way too much, because there’s no doubt that any time you’ve said jump I didn’t bother to ask why, but just went on to asking the old clich├ęd question, ‘how high?’ And I did everything I thought you wanted. Maybe that was mistake, but we don't know that. I just make decisions and see where they lead.

I can’t be angry with you, Brian, any more than I can be angry with an ingrown toenail. You actually don’t mean any harm; nor could you ever mean any good. It’s just that your program’s faulty and made you a useless malignant parasite. When one of your faulty cells became two in five seconds it didn’t matter, but you are racing towards the time when one billion becomes two billion in that same amount of time, and that does matter. But you can’t help it. You’re just a population explosion of useless cells and nothing more, and we’re locked into a battle to keep that population down, for both our sakes. If and when that fails completely, then we’re in trouble, both of us.

Speaking of anger, I may be angry with myself if I knew the cause of your existence and it turned out to be something I could have prevented if I were a little wiser, but I don’t know that. I’ve searched for that answer a thousand times, just for my own satisfaction and the thought that if I discovered it, a lot of misery could be avoided; not just on my behalf but of the increasing number of people affected by your presence and those like you that have invaded so many others’ bodies and caused such heartache.

I know many of my friends have spoken of their anger at you, but what’s the point? Better that I turn my strength and energy towards learning the best way to accommodate you, if I can’t get rid of you altogether. And there’s always a part of me that refuses to dismiss optimism about outcomes. Stranger things have happened before and they don’t need a newly created saint to invoke them.

But I’m not counting on it. I think that’s foolish as well. I understand well enough the laws of probability in this case. Nor am I counting on some benevolent deity to take an unaccountable interest in just one of us when billions of others far more deserving are being ignored. Surely that would be the height of ego and presumption and irrationality. But that’s another story. I have a reasonable conception of my relationship with the Infinite that you, Brian, don’t even figure in.

A last word, my Unwelcome Stranger. Avastin is your friend, as much as mine, because it keeps you alive. You would have been dead months ago if it weren’t for our exotic mate. You depend on him just as much as Brain does. Not that you know, for you can’t know. You are, let me again remind you, as thick as two very short planks. I’m done wasting my time talking with you.

So you’re wrong, Brian – I OWN YOU! For all your bluster, we can’t get away from that. It’s more likely than not that my decisions govern your future.

If anything, we are Blood Brothers, just like the ones in the play. You know, the twins who end up killing each other. We are our own and each other’s destinies.

That's all I need to say to you. You deserve much less.

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