Middle Chicken, law school grad, is home. No one would know it from the time snatch that is studying for the Bar. She emerges late this afternoon to share a story. She thinks it has meaning for the days to come.
She reiterates a fable a professor tells in Bar Review class. It is the story of a father with two sons—one a pessimist and one an optimist. The pessimistic son is so very gloomy he cannot see the bright side of anything. Always looking for and seeing the worst. The optimist son, on the other hand, never sees the glass half empty. He is always smiling and happy and finding the best in the world around him.
The father decides to try an experiment with the two. The pessimist son’s room he fills to bursting with toys; all his favorites. In the optimist son’s room, he deposits a pile of manure.
A few hours later he checks on the boys. He opens the door to the pessimist son’s room and the boy stands arms crossed. He says to his father, “Why are these toys here? Did you think this would make me happy? I don’t understand why all these toys are here. What is the meaning behind it?”
When he goes to the optimist son’s room, he finds the boy singing and laughing while shoveling the manure. He asks his son why he is so happy. The boy says, “This must mean a pony is on its way.”
The moral of the story, Middle Chicken explains, is that good things are coming. That all these students studying their eyeballs dry to pass the Bar will be rewarded in the end and that’s how it is in life. At the end of strife, there’s got to be something grand. You mean like a bestseller? Hmmm.
She tells me this after I’ve come from Dr. H who says although I’m doing well, almost halfway through treatment, I’m only at base camp in my trek up Everest. Whaaa? Maybe he’s not my favorite anymore. Or, maybe, I’m a bigger badass than he presumes. Pfft. Either way, we’ll see.
What I know is, I go to radiation every day and see people fighting like hell to hold on. I chat with people who wheel about their chemotherapy stands never failing to say hello. I have nurses for whom cookies will never be enough a thank you for their kindness.
So I’m tired and my skin is burned and everything hurts and my hair is falling out. No matter. I have the hair of fifty-seven Italian grandmothers. Can’t even tell some of it’s gone. And my beloved doctor says I’m only beginning the tough part?
At least I don’t have a pile of shit in my bedroom.