There are certain moments I realize what I lost and what I’ve accomplished. How deep my fall was and how high I’m reaching up. Certain moments I fill up with tears and wonder where I was all these years I’ve been alive. There were moments I wondered why it took such drastic matters for me to find myself although I can’t be bothered with finding that answer. I will create that answer myself.
“You have a spinal cord injury that has paralyzed you from the hips down. The feeling in your chest might recover but your legs will be a different story.”
“You have a 50% chance to stand on your own legs again, ever. Not to mention walking.”
“Bullshit! You don’t know what I’m capable of!”
Somebody said it and apparently it was me. As the words jumped out of my mouth a “sorry!” immediately followed.
And that was the bell for the fight. *ding ding ding*
I refused to accept the words that filled me with fear, anger but weird enough, I didn’t despair. I could barely comprehend what happened to me, to Debbie, and didn’t realize what the future was going to bring but voices kept saying “you have to fight”.
She was one of those voices.
My uncle visited later that afternoon and I asked him for a rope. “A thick one! It has to be strong.” “Why? Are you going to hang yourself?” He joked. We laughed and I heard my voice say “Only if you keep nagging. No, I need to move. If I lay still I’m gonna lose…” And tears filled my eyes. The struggle wasn’t half as heroic as people think when they hear my story. I cried! I cried oceans! But, I tied that rope, surprised as I was that he brought it, to my bed with all efforts and crashing at least a dozen times on my foam rubber mattress. Eyes filled with tears I managed my first pull up fighting the thought;
“Do I deserve to be alive?”
“We’ll see when we get there, but you have to let go. Fight! Get out of here first.”
And more tears…
My inner voice always wanted to proof people wrong (or myself right…) I have heard (hurt) it all!
When they said I couldn’t dive no more, I became a Divemaster. My boss thought it was a waste of my efforts if I stopped there so he made me become an instructor.
I used to be a dancer when I was told I couldn’t dance. I was too white, too stiff. I was the worst of my class. So I became a salsa teacher.
I’ve been a poet, standing on several stages even though published poets said my work wasn’t good enough. So I gave classes and workshops for De Muzerie, a cultural foundation.
I became a DJ just because it seemed fun to give people a reason to smile. Other DJ’s laughed at me, so I put people dance on bars and brought a old, almost death, bar back to life.
Before that, I was a videogame store manager and won a best-selling award without knowing squat about games and that made me also become a game tester in my spare time.
I worked a half-year in Spain as a courier, I worked at the Loveparade 3 (or 4) years in a row. I’ve been a construction worker even though I hated the dust and the cold. I separated garbage, cleaned toilets, tossed burgers and was the go to man for two employment agencies.
Why? What did I know? Why did I care? I am dumb and filled with passion! I lived my life with so much passion. I have always felt the need to touch the world. Whatever I did, I did with pride, with heart. I always took that extra step.
I was once told that I was made to fail. It haunted me with every step I ever took. Till the day it didn’t matter anymore. I was death or about to die.
“Do I even deserve to be alive?”
I didn’t need to live but if I wasn’t going to die I would make it the best fight I ever fought. I needed to live for two. I needed to fight for two. She will not be forgotten. So day after day I dried my tears and I promised again and again:
“I will give my all and live my life, for us.”
“I will be the best I can ever be and then, I will let you go.”
It took many falls to the knees and “be careful” from my mom. I burned my leg (2nd degree, and all I felt was an itch). I broke my pinky toe and sprained my ankle (oh the itch!) The tightened hamstrings, that felt like they would pop any move I made. I collected bladder infections, urinary infections (due to catheter use). I had countless of muscle strains and a whole lot more that nobody knew (not even my mom) or will ever know.
But I live. I love. I smile. I walk. I feel. All is good and sometimes it’s bad or just less. But, I made a new promise and I needed to build a new life. I promised to let go…
The lie “yes, I’m fine” had become the truth.
It can never be as bad as when I knew she was dying in my arms.
I’m not like them
But I can pretend
The sun is gone
But I have a light
The day is done
And I’m having fun
I think I’m dumb
Maybe just happy