Lee loved to laugh, found humour in grave situations, chuckled when he shouldn’t.
He cried for friends’ losses, occasionally laughing at a sarcastic thought, cringing at childhood memories of kids making fun of his crying over a dead girlfriend.
Public/private school education will do that for you; rather, growing up in a mixed community teaches us about subcultures we may never experience later in life.
We all have the experience of growing up.
For many, the likeness of us to the “true,” outwardly-projected personality of our parents/guardians barely registers any dissonance in our thoughts — we willingly, gladly carry on the familial legacy.
Lee’s tinnitus roared loudly yet didn’t pulsate, implying, through subjective analysis, that his blood pressure was normal but his set of thoughts was in extreme stress.
He knew the pebbles he’d thrown in the pond of life were affecting others, the ripples moving into backwater lagoons, reverberating, changing the tiniest of ecosystems, unseen by human eyes.
He was in the calm centre of his thoughts.
Able to weather the neurochemical storms of his central nervous system, he faced each potential catastrophe with joy, fear, elation, concern, capturing the mental images in words, seeing every time that he exited the storms a happier person, more at peace with the world.
The last few weeks had been rough, though.
He chose to drop his defenses, not to hide himself.
Decades of denial had built defense mechanisms for him to hide behind and within the mental storms as an actor who could easily pretend not to be himself.
At the same time, he faced a love of/from friends past and present.
He wanted to write about the love but chose carefully what to write about out of respect for those friends who wanted their private lives kept out of literature, fiction or otherwise.
He had gotten through the worst of the mental struggle.
The rest was physical action.
That he could handle with ease.
Rebuilding was his specialty.
His tinnitus lessened.
He was on his way to a new life.
He laughed at himself, at the years of mental blocking, at the tears and fears, composing a meme, a guy who just lost his legs in a horrific car crash looking at himself and saying, “Great! 50% less to worry about going wrong with my body from now on!”
Lee’s glass wasn’t half full or half empty — he had been drinking from the wrong cup.