The thing I have learned today: when 1/4 of you is missing, certain people will feel perfectly fine asking what happened to you (regarding said 1/4). Because of my famous niceness, I tell them the truth (they ARE asking out of caring, after all, not to razz me like 'HA HA, NO LEG! Serves you right getting CANCER! BWA!'). That's when allllll the stories come out about every cancer case they've ever known, as if that would be all I'd want to talk about after living in Cancerland for two years.
Fer example, tonight I went to catch a movie at the Film Forum (B/W early Hitchcock 'Young and Innocent', very good). The older fellow (named Bill) I stood next to in line waited about a second before asking me what happened with my leg. I told him cancer, inoperable tumor. He wasn't expecting that and he started saying over and over how sorry he felt for me and how much he PITIED me. Wow. How does one react to someone telling you, out of kindness, that they pity you? I was all, 'well thanks..I mean, sorry...actually I'm OK now, really!' Then he asks me if I'd heard about Lou Rawls, who just died. He said, 'You know what got him? Cancer! Brain and lung cancer! Horrible! You know why he got it? (mimes putting a cig to his lips).' Ah. Smoking, yes. Bad stuff. So then he started telling me about his personal brushes with the big C. For instance, his father died before he was born. Apparently, he had esophageal cancer which eventually killed him. Bill said, 'I was told he coughed up blood like a fountain.' Yikes. Also a smoker, by the way.
Then whilst we were standing in line (YOU try standing on line for 20 minutes on one foot; fun, eh?) he asked me to watch his spot in line, he would be back in a few minutes. Like to guess why?
He was outside having a cigarrette.