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Little Miss Marker and the Troll

Little Miss Marker. That’s me.

It’s hard not to think about what’s going on inside me. It’s like being on a road and you know, you absolutely know, that there’s a monster, a troll, hiding somewhere. Crunching rocks, spitting, stupid mean, it’s my monster. I can walk slowly or recklessly fast. I can put on the flashlight or walk in the darkness. It doesn’t matter. There’s a monster on the road ahead.

From the Norwegian movie Trollhunter - see  it if you can. It's really good.

From the Norwegian movie Trollhunter – see it if you can. It’s really good.

I like to think I’m getting better but the fact is that this is a chronic condition. It will never go away. I carry the marker. The fucked up strand of DNA that allowed the beast to incubate. It was the little marker that I lived with all my life. The sign. I lived in ignorance and bliss. Little Miss Marker was there. I didn’t know.


I can see her. Sometimes I picture her so I can destroy her. I can’t ignore the fact of this monster. I know now. She’ll never go away.

Today was so beautiful. The leaves are changing here in the Pacific Northwest. The sky is full of towers of clouds in every shade of soft gray and pale blue, with distant glimpses of white buried deep inside. Grey the colour of the ash of a hot fire. Ponderous moving pillars that tear apart stickily to show a sky that was a blue that isn’t cerulean, it isn’t deep, powder blue, or pink. It’s all that. Hail turned the road white this morning, pinging, then ripping and pounding and, finally, ticking ticking on the car. I drove out of it. It was like an invisible wall. Hail. Then nothing. A dry road ahead. I drove with my windows down, I like that. The feel of the rain and hail blowing into the car. The sound. The wind had picked up and I could feel it, smell it, blowing along the pavement. Sweeps of leaves, the trees were roaring. It sounded like the ocean. A red and gold and green ocean.


And I can’t help thinking that this will all be here next year. But maybe I won’t be. All the things I love will be here and all my past will disappear in a gulp. Some pictures left. Some stories that people tell even though it hurts to remember what happened.
A couple of times, every so often, people will raise a glass and say ‘Here’s to Laura. She was…’ Whatever they’ll say. It doesn’t matter to me. The only thing that matters is ‘was’. She was.

This morning I woke up and I was afraid. I drank tea and read some blogs and answered some emails and made an appointment with the acupuncturist…I stood leaning out my bedroom window, looking at the rain coming down, watching out for the big spider that is living in the corner of the frame. I don’t mind her. She’s just trying to survive. My cat, Mr. Jones, came and sat with me on the window ledge, watching the rain. He was purring. I like the way he smells. He smells like flowers. He doesn’t mind when I bury my face in his fur.


I decided to get out. Drive somewhere. I like driving. I put on Hank Williams and sang along with every track. I know every word to every song. All 24 of them. I went to the Goodwill and bought a sweater and a big plate. We don’t need big plates but I bought it because I liked the fish painted on it. It was only 5$. I went to Sears to pick up a pair of cheap waterproof boots I’d ordered online. They’re too tight but I took them anyway. I don’t know why. I stopped at the outlet grocery store and bought cheese and tin foil. Some organic coconut palm sugar, whatever that is.

Right now I’m sitting in a local dive called Helter Skelter. It’s got a picture of Charles Manson on the marquee and a nicely framed picture of him with the swastika carved into his forehead right inside the door. It’s next to a tattoo parlour. It looks scary but the logo was what made me stop the first time I saw it. I thought ‘They’ve gotta be kidding.’ The owner said the name and the Charles Manson logo keeps out the straight people. The un fun crowd who care about things like that. Ha. He’s right. This is a working class place. Its full of nice blue collar guys. I buy football squares here. Drink a beer with the regulars. Sit and write when I’m alone. Try not to think. Listen to the guys cussing and swearing and laughing about someone almost capsizing their boat last weekend, the problems with the fishing industry, the shipyard and whether it’s hiring, cooking for the kids. Nice, manageable problems. No monsters here.

Except Charlie.


I have to go home. I can’t sit here much longer. The ipad is losing juice and so am I. I like to think I’m going to stay here for a couple or three hours, drinking, talking, writing, but that’s not going to happen. I’m sick. I tire easily. My feet are on fire from neuropathy. I am tired. I have to fight even when I don’t want to. I want peace. Quiet. But I won’t stop fighting. The only thing I have is my rusty bent coat hanger. Like that girl in the movie. Like that post I wrote back when fighting this was easy. I’ve got to get away. Use whatever I can. Escape the monster and run away.

Screw all this. Being afraid of the CT scan, what the blood tests say, whether I’m doing everything I can. I don’t want to admit that even changing the sheets on my bed tires me out. Work is harder than I thought it was going to be. The whole year is shot. This time last year I was so sick. We were moving. It was a nightmare. At least I thought it was. I was wrong though. That wasn’t the nightmare…it was just gathering steam.



23 thoughts on “Little Miss Marker and the Troll

  1. LL, my heart aches for you, for your battle…I sent my Queen ( and my Princess) 1800kms south today so she can have a mastectomy, her chosen medium through which to kill this f@#kin bastard of a c*%t from the wretched bowels of a motherless whore that, were it a human being, would right now be lifeless at my hands, by my choice…not my choice, apparently. She is in good spirits, it was the least I could ensure. Now that she is gone, and the spectre of the (remote though it is) possibility that I may never see her again haunts me. I used to hate…I was exceptionally good at it…now I am supposed to stand idly by while the one person I ever met who had the temerity to hang in there with until I no longer spoke hatred as my mother-tongue may suffer a fate unworthy of her nature, so much more deserved of my actions. As for you my Lovely, I am sorry that we had to meet the way we have…I am grateful that we have met…I take strength in your warrior attitude…for now, that is enough. Thank you. Warmest regards. Deepest respect. REDdog


    • Your eloquence is always awe inspiring. I just wish it were as simple as grabbing this by the throat and yarding it out of our bodies. I love the image and I am going to use it tonight. Every night I ‘see’ the fight. The monster. I kill it. Leave it as rags and ashes. It’s so soothing. I sleep like a baby.
      I never learned to fight. Never wanted to although I’ve been in some knock down drag outs. This disease has brought it all back. The spirit that energized me when I was young. When I wouldn’t avoid a fight if a fight needed to be fought. When I would stand up for myself and other people. When I fought to do the right thing. This won’t win. Truthfully, I got back a part of myself that I’d, quite rightfully, suppressed. The part that would wade right in and take the punch and get right back up. That’s what we need, we cancer survivors. That ideal fighting spirit. Do your worst you fuck! You won a battle, but I’m winning the war! You’ll never win what matters. I am free. And your beautiful Queen has that fighting spirit and gentle nature, that positive uplifting belief in life and you and children and nature. She won’t back down. I just purely hate that you couldn’t be with her but I understand too. My family wanted to be with me and frankly it was exhausting. Much nicer to sit and relax, regroup, read and let your body and spirit heal. I love you, man. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Tonight my image will be for her. Fighting like a tiger…


      • LLL. I awoke this morning to my Queen texting me and a notification of your reply on my phone. She is now in pre-op and in good spirits, making her carers laugh and already referring to herself as the One Boob Wonder…priceless. And then I read your lovely, encouragement and feel stronger for it. How can I not take strength with the two of you around? Wednesday she will be back in the Surgeon’s offices going through the pathology results…we will deal with what happens next after that. Thanks again Lovely. Rd


  2. Laura Lynn,
    Cancer Sucks!!! My heart goes out to you. For what it’s worth, I keep a yellow Post-It note on my computer at work to remind me that “TODAY IS A NEW DAY”. I see in your posts that you have a tremendous courage to keep to going even you feel rotten. Enjoy each day God gives you. I’ll continue to pray the cancer remains in remission and you regain your strength.


    • I love writing. I think writing is a form of therapy-for writers, anyway. Skateboarders, photographers, cooks and mushroom hunters. Birders and bloggers and bikers, we’ve all found our therapy doing what we love. I’m actually looking for a more interactive, group style form of self expression simply because I’ve found it harder than I thought to motivate myself to draw and write. Maybe I’ll find the kick in the ass I need if I have a deadline to look at. It’s all a new road, isn’t it?


  3. First of all, let me compliment you on your writing. You string sentences, emotions together beautifully. You left me no choice: I couldn’t not say. Now I hope your grit and sensitivity are the perfect combination to get you through this. Because you are just the type of person that I believe conquers it. If there is one iota of method in the universe’s great madness then, it makes sense that you. lick. this. So that’s where my head’s at. Hope yours is too.


    • Jackie you are wonderful. I loved finding this comment here. It’s like a beautifully wrapped present. Thank you for this. I am doing my best to keep my head in the right space. I’ve decided to dedicate November to the NaNoWriMo contest and see if it can jump start me into writing again. It’s actually fun (so far) and I am finding it just spilling off my fingers but (There’s always a BUT) I think it may end up written into a corner, as it were. It’s not easy to write something, at least for me, without a big chart and character analysis and, well, thought. Lots of thought. Now this…I’m not sure I can pull it off. Even I don’t know who DONE it. Or what got done…hee hee, it’s kind of fun.


There is no sin except stupidity.

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