Friday, May 10, 2013

Home, there's no place like...

Melanoma Man is on a road trip this weekend back to the family home in North Carolina. He comes from a place where the streets, and mini-marts and dirt roads are named after family members, where historical markers on the roadside tell stories of his ancestors. He's got roots. It's totally foreign to me. I feel hydroponic in comparison. Nevertheless, this family that gathers every Fourth of July has welcomed me ever since I was just some 25 year old he brought home. All my life I kept clicking my ruby slippers, trying to get home. I was the sickly child, the somatosizer, the oversensitive child. I just felt too much. When I wasn't fighting the Civil War in the pasture or playing basketball with my brother Johnny Reb in the driveway, I was in bed with stomach aches, sore throats, headaches, fever, vomiting. Some years I missed so much school that it was threatened that I would not be promoted to the next grade. My grades were good, excellent in fact. I was always promoted in spite of the threats.

Eventually I found home. Home was with Melanoma Man. I stopped getting sick until his travel schedule picked up significantly. Melanoma Man's work had him out of the country eighty percent of the year. I started getting sick every time he left the country. One particularly difficult night of vomiting and headache landed me in the ER for dehydration. I was pregnant with Butter at the time, but didn't know it. My pregnancy test in the ER came back negative. My ER doc's diagnosis was tension headache. After a bit he sat down next to my bed and asked: "Where is your husband?" I replied: "He's in the former Soviet Union." 
"He needs to come home, now. Can you call him?"
"No, but I can email him."
"You go home and email him and tell him he has to come home for good."

I'm not sure how this ER doctor knew the source of my ailment, but he did. I tried to put on a brave front during Melanoma Man's travels, but he saw through it. 

I have found myself  irritated, annoyed, and angry with Melanoma Man during these cancer months, trying not to need him, trying in fact to dislike him intensely. Knowing that I am losing home.

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