I am in the midst of a re-watch of Rescue Me, a show I have struggled with since my initial diagnosis and treatment, no thanks to PTSD. But I have been able to watch this time, and I am in the middle of season six. Kelly, a one time romantic interest of Tommy’s, has resurfaced with breast cancer and she has just received the good word from her doctor. She is baking brownies.
Tommy: Do I say congratulations?
Kelly: Yeah, ‘you won’ that’s what my doctor told me.
Tommy: That’s great
Kelly: Yeah I’m really…happy. I dunno happy is a dumb word. But I am happy…I don’t know what I am.
Kelly: Yes, I’m relieved.
Kelly then burns the brownies and and starts shouting expletives and throwing things and breaking things in the kitchen.
Kelly: It’s not about the brownies!
Tommy: But your doctor…
Kelly: The doctor said I won, but I don’t feel like I won anything! I was going to be this kickass cancer patient, and I was, and I did everything they told me to do, everyday. And then this guy, this doctor says, ‘Alright you’re good to go. You’re all set!’ What am I supposed to do?! Find the secret in life?! Go to India?! Find Jesus?!
*Lies down on the floor, Tommy is perplexed*
Kelly: …I wish I had a real boyfriend to do this with. (RIGHT?!)
Then, the cherry on top of a this sundae that has my name on it:
Kelly: I don’t want to spend the next 10 years just twisting in the wind trying to figure out all of this anger, grief…
What Kelly doesn’t want is exactly what I have been doing for the last 8 years 11 months and 18 days. Little progress has been made. I’ve just had the good sense to not drag too many other people (husband/boyfriend/hypothetical children) into it. There is no answer. There is no resolution. It just is. All of it and everyone involved. It is the unsolvable puzzle that is taking up all the space on my dining room table. The years are going by while I stare at this incomplete puzzle, knowing that I don’t have all the pieces in the box anyway, and they were never mine to have, expecting them to just materialize if I stare at it long enough. The lines on my face and my grey hairs are all that is materializing while I stare at this unsolvable puzzle.