First Things First

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Snooze Letter: Patchwork Update



Gray Cook, lecturing at Stanford, click for details

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Good bye, January. I don’t know what your rush is, but don’t let me get in your way. I’m already making plans for February. The months and days don’t happen by themselves, you know. Without input from my friends and me (that’s us, bombers), the years would not happen. Time would cease, stop or stand still; collapse, vaporize or disintegrate.

Yes, discombobulate, even.

Laree, home from recording the big event at Stanford, is safe, sound and secure in her stronghold, resolving a surge of thoughts, a stack of scribbled notes and a scramble of loose ends. It’ll be a sunny day in late spring before the assorted finished products [audio, video, and written word] are complete and RTG. I’ll visit her every few days to be sure she has food, water and supplies.

As for me and my quest for knowledge and understanding, the notebook is thin. I’m a simple push-n-pull slugger of steel who lifts whatever he can, whenever he can, any way he can. If it works, great. If it doesn’t… poop… try it another way. I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d be doing if I had to think about it.

And you wonder where the term musclehead comes from.

Friday morning, while the rest of the world slept or starved or froze or protested or revolted or shot one another, the melanoma clinic in San Francisco called to tell me they were successful in totally excising the cancerous tissues from the chest, and the multiple lymph node biopsies and scans came back negative. Yes, negative is positive. “This is Laura at the MCSF. The cancer has not metastasized, Mr. Draper. Don’t forget the removal of the sutures is scheduled for Monday at 2 PM.”

I’m thinking, is that it, Laura? And you called me why, exactly? Like, could you not wait till the weekend was over? Suspense keeps one alert, lean and vascular.

By early afternoon I was in the gym standing before a dumbbell rack with a 10-pounder in each hand. I felt ugly all over, but the halted and burdensome reps validated my existence. (Who, me? Heck, I ain’t got no hang-ups.) My last act was performed with a pair of humbling 25s for set of six bumbling repetitions.

I was in motion, mildly extending and contracting. The hunt was on.

I sniffed around the iron like an old hound dog looking for a spot to pee. Rope tucks, ­ no problem, stay tight. Press machine, ­ mini weight, abbreviated reps, nauseating yet safe pain. Dumbbell pullover, ­ light weight, a 50-pounder, but surprisingly doable. These morphed into triceps extensions and I felt a distinct revival of rhythm and reason.

Of course I was fading fast and wouldn’t be surprised if the heavy anesthesia of the week before sabotaged my system. Experts say it settles in the bone marrow and takes time to be fully eliminated. Show me the way to go home, boys. I’m tired and I wanna Bomber Blend.

Monday came and went, as did the dozen stitches. Memories retained, lessons learned, trials experienced, ordeals endured, sacrifices made, laughs shared, hopes visited, prayers answered, faith renewed.

You ever wonder how time flies and crawls at once?

There are barbells and dumbbells, pulleys and cables and sets and reps ahead. One by one, day by day, plenty fast enough.

God Speed… The Bomb

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