Kage Baker did not countenance giving up. She could be defeated, of course, like anyone (which was always the fault of her opponent, and none of hers); she could be thwarted for years, but never forget her goals. She would plan for quite inhuman lengths of time to get what she wanted, and rarely failed. The main thing was, she never gave up.
When Kage died, she was still dictating stories and plans to me. Literally. She had a calculated plan for what I was to do with her literary legacy, and she made sure I got every detail straight. We made a lot of Mozart and Salieri jokes, and giggled like teenagers. But I knew that, despite the snickering and even the attempts at singing the Requiem (we were pretty fair, actually), that Kage was deadly serious and meant even her amiable threats of retaliation if I failed.
Then my health began its slow collapse. It’s been as cruel and inexorable as a tsunami – a slow, mounting, hideously motile wall sweeping forward, carrying drowned bodies and burning houses on the crest of the wave. Even the survivors are left damaged. The world ends up covered in mud.
Just as I began to realize I was sinking in the muck, I got a cruel email on this blog. Some self-righteous critic read me a long list of the things I said of which he disapproved. He gave me to understand I was weak, uninteresting, contemptible; he suggested I shut up, one way or another. He caught me at a vulnerable moment.
I struggled on for a ways – and you, my Dear Readers, if any of you are still out there, you were a major factor in my staying even marginally afloat. But I got sicker, and more tired, and more discouraged. I’ve spent the latter half of 2018 asleep and/or cocooned in my recliner, concentrating all my strength on breathing.
To tell the utmost truth, I am sure some part of me was nurturing a black hope that I could irritate Kage into haunting me. But as I am fairly sure she’s busy slow-dancing with God and drinking divine nectar with cocktail umbrellas in, there’s been no luck on that score. Besides, I’m pretty sure she could out-stubborn me anyway.
So here I am. I am starting, not over but definitely again. There’s more to say, more to write, and if my explaining life through the streaky lens of my cataclysmic health offends anyone – too bad for you. Go read someone else’s blog. Which is about as much obscenity I am willing to spend on you, if you already dislike me that much.
I know, though, that I still have good, good friends out there in the aether. A Happy New Year to you, then, dear hearts. Here we are again! Once more into the breach! The show must go on!
As Kage once said, giving up is for people with no resources. And I have so, so many of those!