Cemented Writhing

RE: That’s a very wise attitude.

Michael J. Fox: Well, with Parkinson’s, it’s like you’re in the middle of the street and you’re stuck there in cement shoes and you know a bus is coming at you, but you don’t know when. You think you can hear it rumbling, but you have a lot of time to think. And so you just don’t live that moment of the bus hitting you until it happens. There’s all kind of room in that space.

I hurriedly walked into a large pharmacy yesterday and glanced down at Michael J. Fox’s face on the cover of some magazine. I wanted to pass it by as one wants to pass by paying bills or eating broccoli.

It felt arduous and obligatory for me to read.

Though my momentary 6 year old body was mystically held down to eat at least 5 bites of that toot smelling vegetable.

The magazine sat in a chair like an eager stranger hoping to chat while I begrudgingly slipped into my seat next to it. Pass the veggies, please.

“Pick me up, pick me up! Eh Ah C’mon!” It said looking up and whining at me.


Flip, flip, flip, flip, shuffle, shuffle. Backwards to forwards trying to find the article, licking my index finger to page through with more precision. Well, actually I was merely pretending to be an adult who cared, no precision was executed, it would be too confronting.

There he is: older, a bit tight in his face, but smiling. Hi there Michael, did you know you symbolize my father’s dis-ease for me? Did you know that I grind my teeth when I’ve seen your various cameos on TV shows? Thank you oh so much for smiling in this photograph, though.

I begin to read.

RE: What’s the hardest part about Parkinson’s?

MJF: I actually never talk about this, but the hardest thing is probably the fatigue. And trying to have a higher threshold for it. Sometimes there may be things I want to do, and I say, “I’m so freakin’ tired. I don’t know if I can do it.” And then I’ll do it and I’ll never regret that I did it. But (the hardest part is) just getting over that.

I pause there. My number is about to be called. 497. In this frozen moment I’m no longer obligated to this article, instead I’m now obligated to the god forsaken number and surprisingly deeply entranced with the (de)obligated words, which only heightens my soft, warm body and my hot, crowded tear ducts and my ability to withstand saying “no” to 497 unlike my father, unlike Mr. Fox.

And then my rigorous “no” only heightens my sheer lack of fatigue.


1 Comment

Filed under memento vivere, Uncategorized

One response to “Cemented Writhing

  1. heather, thank you for writing about this. i, too, avoid michael j. fox, despite actually enjoying him and also having had a major crush on him in elementary school. i can’t imagine the push-pull of seeing his face for you, for all he reminds you of and all he invites/demands you to acknowledge. i would be honored to talk to you about your father’s dis-ease (well put) any time. love.

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