22 December 2008

Something Actually Important For A Change

Hey everyone, anyone,
I just got a really encouraging phone call from my friend Tyler. A mutual friend of ours, that we've known basically our whole lives, had a bone marrow transplant a couple weeks ago and as of right now the recovery prognosis is looking good.

Most of this site is comprised of inanities. I put things I love on pedestals or take a hammer to the multitudinous, ossified towers of bullshit that I observe near daily. Rarely do I post about something liable to make me, never mind any readers, face the tremendous wrath of their bottled emotions. But now, during the high religious festival season, seems an appropriate enough time for a spiritless, religionless, anti-everything jerk like myself to celebrate something extraordinary.

I've known Jonathan Goss since I was about five years old. We played youth sports together, attended the same schools until high school graduation, even made a couple short films together. When I abandoned my hometown for greener pastures I pretty much abandoned most of the people I grew up with as well. Now, in the age of Facebook, a lot of things have come flooding back that I would have rather left in the past. Thankfully, however, I didn't learn about Jonathan from any status update. At our college reunion, Tyler (sidebar: I went to college with Tyler though met him through Jon when we were very young. Their mothers are great friends.) informed me that Jon was diagnosed with leukemia. I got sporadic updates on Jon's condition whenever Tyler knew something, for which I am truly grateful.

At some point during his ordeal this year, Jonathan started a blog based on his ongoing experience facing leukemia and his eventual need for a bone marrow transplant. Jon lives in LA now where he is building a career as a screenwriter. I still really don't have any contact with him other than reading his blog updates, which he stopped the day before his transplant. Hopefully, as he regains his strength, he'll begin writing there again, about coming through the other side of the void. He has faced the great radiation and he has done it with his trademark grin. I haven't seen the kid in almost ten years, but that grin is exactly the same.

In the time since I first heard about all this I began to feel guilty for severing so many of the ties I had to the place I grew up. I didn't so much burn bridges as I left them to decay, much like the government does with its infrastructure. Not everyone I grew up with was so provincial-minded, though most of the really great minds (and, honestly, I include myself here), left the confines and limited opportunity of small-city New England. I've found out there are a few old friends here in NYC that I've been trying to catch up with and quite a few are out in LA as well.

Tomorrow I head "home" for the holidays and, as usual, I won't be there long enough to visit with anyone who may be around. Really, I'm fine with that. I still need my distance. But more than anything, I'll be thinking about something more important than my own fucked up feelings. I'll be thinking about Jonathan, in a hospital room in Los Angeles. Too many of us blog-addicts become locked in our self-absorbed worlds, dwelling on the tree that blocks our view and failing to see the forest. Just in time for a new year I've seen the forest again and there is a Chesire grin floating amongst the branches.

So as the winter solstice passes and 2009 arrives, I invite any and all followers here to go read Jonathan's writings over at BlastCount. Besides the directed musings of a talented, growing writer, you'll see an amazing army of friends and family. They have commented on his posts and sent him wishes, blessings, many of whom probably have only the faintest connection to him, but realize that his battle makes any of ours pale. I'm sure most of you know someone who is facing a bigger battle and is in need of your thoughts, especially at this time of year.

Happy Holidays, everyone. Jonathan, we're with you, buddy.

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