Clues in this week’s Ink Well that are relevant to my life:
25. Respectful greeting to a yogi
68. Britney of breakdowns and reinventions
1. Ira Glass’ show, for short
26. Sch. where ‘Good Will Hunting’ is set
When Clark was sick there was never any melanoma news. Today there’s a big announcement.
The F.D.A. approved vemurafenib, with the brand name Zelboraf, to treat patients with metastatic melanoma who have a certain genetic mutation called BRAF V600E.
(Clark had that mutation)
“This has been an important year for patients with late-stage melanoma,” Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the F.D.A. Office of Oncology Drug Products, said in a press release on Wednesday.
But many patients become resistant, he added, and the drug prolongs lives only months on average, pointing to the need for further research.
I guess … this makes me think about people who get their melanoma diagnosis and never really think they’re going to beat it, like we did. It was naive, sure, but I can’t imagine how differently we would’ve acted if the end goal wasn’t survival beyond a few more months.
I like my new job. The people are nice, I am busy and the workday goes by quickly. A piece I wrote, “Chat History,” is in the fall issue of GOOD Magazine, which is available for purchase at select WHOLE FOODS MARKET STORES. It will be live on the Internet on August 29. I like this boy. There are so many good music and podcast and nerdy items happening filling up my iPod. My little brother came to visit with his girlfriend last weekend and we had the best time, full of tender real talks. If I give his girlfriend a book from my formative years to read, she reads it in like three days and then reports back to me (#socialexperiment).
It’s not surprising that all of this is fucking terrifying. But like I said to Cella the other day – if there can be a time in life when nearly every single thing that happens is bad, can’t there also be a time when the opposite is true? Deep breath and … yes.
Today was my last day at Dischord.
When I started there, I was a lost, unemployed puppy. I can’t remember how I filled all of the hours in a day when I had no job. There was lots of Hulu and Netflix and lots of Sticky Fingers and yoga and crying about the loss of two major parts of my identity: my job and Clark.
When I took over the mail order department, I was elated. I communicated daily with people who love the label as much as I do. They were always so excited to have a person on the other end of the phone or email to provide a deeper connection to the music they love so much, and that person was me. They wanted to state their preferences and they wanted to hear mine and I was happy to tell them (The Argument, The Unanimous Hour, 1986, In Mass Mind).
Most importantly, I could be a zombie one day and cry my eyes out the next day and they all understood why. I didn’t have to explain anything to them; they had all witnessed it in some way. On the first anniversary of Clark’s death, I came into work and told Alec about it. He said, “I’ve got a little story for your day.” Clark and the Motorcycle Wars had borrowed Alec’s band’s van ten years or so before, and when they returned it to him, there were pictures of genitalia hidden in EVERYWHERE – under the seats, etc. I loved that story, and he had known that I would.
Over the months, parts of my brain came out of hibernation. I began to try to figure out my post-Clark identity. What am I good at? What do I want to be doing? The tasks at Dischord weren’t occupying my mind anymore. I needed to use the skills I’d worked so hard to develop pre-caretaker.
Monday, I’ll be a journalist again. I’ll make enough money to not have to work a second job as much as I do now. I’ll be able to devote more time to writing my book.
I cried very hard hugging Ian goodbye. I know I’ll see him very soon, probably within the next week or so. “You are so loved by so many people,” he said to me today. Dischord is a house of love, and I have left, and that merited a good pile of tears.