A Classically Catastrophic Cancer

Hiding under a careless facade, she’s surprisingly small, loud but timid, bold but meek, laughing but silently whimpering for more than fleeting attention.

She’s average. Small frame, large teeth, slight mustache, but has beautiful, even stunning windows to her soul. Except an average passerby may miss her soul completely, distracted by the layers of gaudy makeup marring the view.

She commands attention with her presence, though not her poise. Negative attention will suffice when admiration is absent, and she demands it in a loud declaration of negativity. No matter the subject. No matter the location. People gawk, in awe, though not positively impressed.

So small, yet so crass.

Startlingly obtuse, yet unaware of her condition.

A raindrop is a thunderstorm, a bright day too cold. A smile froth with condescension, a glance full of contempt. She repels most, but attracts a needy select few and to them she clings, a cancerous tumor. Stealing their individuality, she monopolizes their time, cutting them off slowly from outsiders, filling their heads with fresh new negativity, metastasizing faster than projected. The life expectancy of former relationships is cut short by her erratic growth, and her host is left utterly alone, save for her malignant company.

When her host finally recognizes her cankerous presence as the cause of pain, solitude, and angst, it’s too late. No amount of intensive care will revive past connections, since severed, shriveled, and decomposed. Suddenly alone and aware, her host is trapped and unhappily disconnected from those that made her smile in the past. With nowhere to go and nobody left to turn, the host is faced with a painful decision. Extract the negativity from her life and begin anew with the involved treatment or continue down the same path knowingly and resign herself to fate. Awareness has changed her perceptions, however, and now the loud, bold, crass, attention seeking facade has ceased being attractive. Now a blaring embarrassment, it has become hard to ignore.

Choosing the operation over certain death of character, the recovery is long, painful, and slow, as the cancer tries again and again to relapse, begging, pleading, lashing out, attacking, harassing, grasping, always threatening. As the host gains her strength of personality back, she is emboldened by the positive change, and finds herself rejecting the dejected tumor more easily than ever. She revels in appreciating a raindrop for its properties of renewal and cleansing, a bright day for the sun’s warming effect on the soul. A smile is taken at face value, as a glance is met with a smile of her own. A smile that reflects her renewed health and joy.

The classic catastrophe, however, is in the disease, who sees not what she caused or created, but only her role as the victim. She laments the loss of her host and creates a cacophony, wondering to anyone who will listen why there are so many thunderstorms and cold days in her life. That is until, feeling her pain in a moment of vulnerability, her next host reaches out to her with an unprotected heart.

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