Sunday, June 2, 2013

Unfairness Makes for Great Stories

Back to that pain thing of a few posts ago.

On Tuesday I was admitted to the hospital.  On Thursday I underwent a resection of my intestines due to a gut-load of polyps. The doctor went ahead and took the appendix and some little something that hangs close to the appendix.  This is all good, as are my blood tests, lymph-nodes, and various other innards hanging around my sore self.

But pain, yeah… The scalpel cut against the grain of the muscle and the wound hurts that much more.  But, you either play the hand you’re dealt or you get out of the game and right now I’m playing, so hit me.

Having a bunch of time on my hands, I have managed to spot a metaphorical lake just outside my hospital room window.  I call it Lake Cosmic Unfairness.  I have gazed at the tranquil surface waters while waiting for my recovery to gain a little more traction.  Mr. Morphine Drip and I like to dream of smores and ponder the oscillating sparkles for hours on end.  Why, just this afternoon, one of the high points of today was being allowed to eat a grape Blue-Bunny popsicle.  It was one of the best popsicles I can remember in my entire life.  How is it fair that a mere mortal like I should be allowed to enjoy such a quintessential frozen treat (that’s how the Blue Bunny popsicle wrapper describes the contents)?

At this point, I am mostly consoled that I’m not the type of person who deserves a nest of polyps large enough to call for an intestinal resection.   In my mind, things like this are reserved for IRS agents who just follow orders and tear at the fabric of our constitution and at the politicians who order such employees to do such things.   I am definitely staring at the right lake.  I could go on, but you get the idea.

Besides, what I really want to write about is that Lake CU is at the heart of many good stories.  I am living a saga based on unfairness, either perceived or real.  There is blood, pain, a main character who wants nothing more than to return to the ‘everything is pretty good’ level of life, a villainous and largely oblivious, cardiologist who injected himself into the process just two hours before the surgery was to be done (more on him another day), laughter, prayers, tears, and all sorts of three dimensional characters being impacted because of how things have happened.  This is conflict.

Go ahead.  Pick your favorite story.   See if this is not true.  And please note, not all unfairness hurts.  What if someone very undeserving receives an incredibly good turn?  Double-whammy there, huh?

A generation ago the English teachers would call the unfairness conflict, and then they would slice it and dice it into three broad categories.  But that’s too remote, not touchy-feely enough for us modern 2013 humans.  For now I’ll stick with Lake Cosmic Unfairness.

Now, the specifics of my polyp story probably wouldn’t be that interesting to many people.  But by golly it’s a story.

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