An early watching of Dawn of the Dead from a VHS tape that is now 23 years old and has been played perhaps 200 times. I don't want you to get the impression that I am some kook who has watched Dawn of the Dead 200 times, because most of those times it was just playing, like now, in the background, mostly to comfort me with something familiar. In my adult life I've lost all of my possessions several times, but this tape, and a few other items, have always stayed with me. I drive Jenny crazy by pointing out the storefront that was once a Video Outlet where I rented the tape I made the copy from two decades ago. Then it was a Taco Bell, then a quick loans ripoff joint.
I used to be a creature of rage, and can differentiate between the sensations of rage, anger, and hatred. Rage does not require the other two. It's a fury. You have it, and understand it, or you don't. I did. I needed it. I relied on it.
Now it is six months after my heart surgery. I do not have it. Nor can I muster it. I am tranquil. Slow. Pacified.
Is it the medication? Is it the fact that I now have mechanical parts and organic transplants from other creatures inside me? I don't know.
Do I miss it?
Should I? I'm not sure if something has been taken from me or if something has just quieted me. I am slow and I feel it in my thoughts. If I'm not careful to know where I am going I feel like I will wander aimlessly.
I am grateful for my new body. I am having a wonderful training cycle at the YMCA and think I feel better than I have in many years. I live in terror. That sudden death is inside me. That every nice Spring day or meeting with some old, familiar source of joy could be the last. Am I wrong to feel this way? Indeed, isn't most of literature an exhortation to feel exactly this way? I have been given a gift. In exchange for that gift I feel I have given something I never knew I could afford to live without.
Am I even the same person?
I have an abundance of life. Of purpose. More than I can even manage to manage. All but the most vain of my dreams and desires have been realized. I am in no way disappointed. From here I see the end of the road.