I Married Barb in ’07 - just after moving into the studio/home that I built out here in this wide open desert.

Lots of good things were happening - I had big plans in process… Then the financial crisis hit - and with that downturn, we lost our savings and most of the value in our investments.

It didn’t sink us, but the plans did change. 

One evening, with a shock, I felt a hard lump, the size of my thumb in my neck.

The doctor ordered several tests. 

I remember laying on a table, in the hospital, surrounded by a tangle of wires and giant, glossy machines, making small talk with the technician who was scanning my neck. He was dressed in the usual greenish jumpsuit and seemed relaxed in his career.

 This was not my doctor, just some guy taking pictures and samples of the strange lump. As he stared into the monitor screen, he told me of a man that he had scanned a couple years before, “He had something just like this”… “He died a couple weeks after I saw him.”….”but of course this could be anything, I wouldn’t worry about it.”

The test results took “forever” - (a week or more) and that whole time I thought about dying of cancer - it was terrible - a monster on my back. 

long walks in the desert and longer nights - lots of drawings and a painting.

The tests finally came back - negative - no trace of cancer… a week later, the lump disappeared without a trace!

I’ll never know what it was, but I know now what it’s like to believe in death.

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