Recordings of Gianna’s Family, Part Seven – Gianna

Smily Food, short story about breast cancer

Short Story

July 23rd, 2015. Hospital.

[sheets shuffling]

[struggling]

[sighs]

Alright. We’re in action. This laptop would probably feel like a brick if it were on my legs. I made the first one of these sitting down on my bed, on my thighs. All I thought about was the radiation transferring to my insides.

I’m gonna have the wind knocked out of me once this video is done. I’ll be asleep for an extra hour, at least. Talking knocks me out now. I tell my kids when a teacher asks you to define “irony”, that’s it. Tell them the story of their mother.

I always fall asleep at around 5. Wake up in time for whatever’s on at night. My food’s there waiting for me. Network tv usually has at least one good on. Fall asleep again at 11:30. Pretty much how it goes.

The food’s vegan. I can’t digest much else. Tofu’s not terrible, soy is actually very good for you. At least for women. I think it just makes men grow breasts. On Wednesdays, they season and marinade it so it doesn’t taste like tofu. You still get it in the aftertaste, but it feels like meat for a good 5 seconds. You enjoy life’s little pleasures when you’re whittled down to them.

No one’s here right now. It’s kind of nice, actually. Gives me time to check in with my computer and see what my kids have downloaded. No porn. Three illegal movies. One of them’s foreign. It was about these kids living in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Nancy downloaded it. I asked her why, she just said “people need to see it”. Coming from an artist, that sounds about right.

I got one of her paintings in here. It’s a bald woman. It looks nothing like me, but I think that was the point. She won’t tell me the point of it. Apparently I’ve got to get my own meaning out of it. I’ve got nothing. Not even gonna try. It’s nice, though. I think I look better than her bald, so… you know. She’s a person in a painting, but you know. Little things.

Nancy and Stacy are out looking for apartments together. They have time before the kids have to move out, but they’re looking to make the transition slow. I think they’re getting along, now. Either that, or they both need someone to yell at at all times. They got their choices narrowed down to three different places… [sighs] One of them is sketchy. I’m not a fan of the area. Nancy says it’s alright, and that I’m being “WASPy”, but I don’t know. I might have to run it by Vinny.

That’s another thing, too. I don’t think he and Darcy are gonna get back together. I liked Darcy, she was good for him. She’s like me in college. It’s not great, but it was better than I was in high school. Mature. I hope all Vinny’s girlfriends are like her. He probably doesn’t right now, though. Apparently he’s with his friends a lot. That’s good. Friends are good.

Ever since the break-up, he’s been over every night for dinner. He makes me eat all my food, he’s sweet. It might be an act of revenge, though. I used to make him eat carrots when he was a kid and he hated them. But it’s good to have him here. I give him relationship advice. He listens to 5% of it. Three more than…

[pause, button press]

I got dizzy for a second.

[pause]

[door opens]

Can I get some food?

“Meal’s in an hour.”

I know. Something light, please? Sugary.

[door closes]

I used to like getting dizzy. It doesn’t make sense, but I did.

Lets see, um… Ari’s at her therapist. She doesn’t say anything about it, apparently she tells Vinny, but he won’t budge. She doesn’t look very different. She still has a scowl on her face, but she’s had that for a while now.

I tried meeting with their parents, all her dad saw was a walking corpse.

[door opens]

Thank you, honey.

“Do you need anything else?”

No, I’m fine. Ring me when dinner comes.

“Will do.”

[door closes]

She’s nice. I like her.

But, um… I was not happy about that suicide note. Blame my daughter for your own depression. Only in Girl World. And I mean “girl”, not even “young woman”. Her Mom was receptive, at least. Not amicable, but she heard me out. Given what she’s been through, I just let them say their piece, and got out of it.

[pause]

And I’ve still gotta decide on this surgery. The success rate is 30%. And my body can barely digest a slice of turkey. They wanna slice it open and take more stuff out. I’ve already had two weeks to live for 3 months now, I don’t…

[long pause]

There’s this one time, I was talking to Roger. It was the bed down the hall.

[sighs]

[pause]

He was saying that he “didn’t wanna drag it out any longer”. He never elaborated, I asked him to , but he clammed up right there. Jesus, what else could he mean, though?

He was good. The treatment, the money issues, me talking in his ear all day, he was good through the whole thing. Now he just wanted to give up, and I just went into my car and cried for an hour. He’d been worse, and I always wondered, you know… why now?

And hearing about this surgery, I… I get it. I get what he meant. I get it now, and that’s fucking me up. I’ve been thinking about it since this morning, it’s just one of those ideas that pop into my head. I’m not going to…

[pause]

Fuck.

End Recording.

 

next chapter: Recordings of Gianna’s Family, Part Eight – Everyone Except Gianna

previous chapter: Recordings of Gianna’s Family, Part Six – Arianna

all cahpters: Recordings of Gianna’s Family

more by CHRISTIAN DEANGELIS

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Christian DeAngelis

Renegade extraordinaire. Only by nights, though. And only on Tuesdays.

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