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The Dane had his last night at the po-boy shop tonight. He liked Mondays 'cause they serve oyster loaves on Mondays, and while he couldn't eat raw, his doctors had no problem with the fried bivalves on french dressed with extra pickles and some Crystal hot sauce.

The Dane's headed west this week. Figures he'll close the show with his family, and a hospice system that shoots higher than Bedlam on the bayou, which our state can't match.

I'd tell Dane stories, but that'd take up the whole diary, and wouldn't really amuse people who aren't into firearms and lateral cowboy moves, which is what he specialized in, so I'll move down the block instead.

ND's got it in the tits. Despite her training, she denied it too long and it's looking like it's going to win, probably sooner than later. Not the smartest move, but understandable, I guess. Nobody wants to say the P-word, I mean the C-word, even to themselves.

L's a couple doors down. Got hers lopped at the first sign, made a decent comeback in time to walk her sister down the same road. So far, so fair.

C's still dragging along. Probably finish the new record with the band, maybe even be able to hear the mixes of the stuff we cut back in the 90s that I just got rescued off the orphaned digital format last month. I love that he's not going down without a fight, pushing every day to document more of what's between his ears while he still can, despite the pain and the drugs for the pain.

The plague's everywhere on the block, and all the blood on all the doorjambs in the world won't make it pass you over. It's like the bullet soldiers talk about with such tender intimacy. It's either looking for you or it ain't, and if it is, all the Bibles in breast pockets won't do a damn thing.

We scratch our heads and wonder what it is. The background radiation that's doubled in our lifetimes? The toluene in everything from Danish oil finish to BP spill burnoffs? Birth control pills? Food that cannibalizes its own kind before hitting your table? Who the hell knows?

Maybe it's just a function of age. Maybe my grandpa watched his friends fall to lumps and bumps and tiredness and didn't have scans and serum tests to give 'em a name.

That's part of it, I'm sure. But it still seems like there's a million things called Cancer that never had this kind of demographic impact before, that didn't creep into the bodies of half the people you know all at once, and all at an age where you're supposed to be saving for retirement. In another ten, fifteen years.

Yeah, I know. It's anecdotal. One person's perspective and all that.

But I just don't remember the old folks talking about every other person they knew up against the same plague. In their forties and fifties.

How'd that happen, anyway?

Originally posted to Crashing Vor on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by Monday Night Cancer Club and Community Spotlight.

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