By Gray Bostick
In light of the recent rail and hail, laugh and defend hullabaloo about a banned substance being found in urine samples that will cause a trio of Tigers to miss tonight’s Clemson/Alabama National Championship game, I thought it the perfect time that I weigh in.
You see, I have a confession to make: I’m on steroids.
No, wait, let me rephrase that. Actually, steroids are on ME. BIG-TIME.
A much different type, of course. In my case, by prescription as part of an aggressive cancer chemotherapy regimen. Every Saturday I take enough Dexamethasone to make my system think it’s living an endless loop of the manic chase-scene ending of a Benny Hill Show. Music included. For about 48 hours. So, unlike Dexter and his crew, I don’t have a “sliver” in my system, oh no. Instead I have a splinter the size of a redwood running thru my plumbing—on a regularly-scheduled basis.
One of the major side effects is about half the time you get the lovely benefit of an extended bout of insomnia…and who can’t use 28-30 hours sitting around, stuck at the house with a racing mind? But I think I make great use of that time; I grasp the moment and all that energy and have fantastic ideas. Until Tuesday, when the fog starts to lift and I realize that “great idea” was the most inane thought I’ve had since betting on Beta. So now I color a lot on the tablet—mostly animals, the ones you color-by-number, or continue my pursuit of a future career in Criminal Justice by watching Lt. Joe Kenda: Homicide Hunter for 6-8 hours at a stretch.
But the fact is I don’t know anything more about Performance Enhancing Drugs or steroids or “’Roid Rage” other than what I’ve learned thru reading or on the news, or knowledge secured during my Continuing Education studies—watching COPS, Judge Judy and The People’s Court, and Discovery ID 24/7. And, of course, by trying hard not to be around those being afflicted. But, boy, am I learning! And in the best way: by being educated by someone else, someone who sees both the forest and the trees. And the pine beetles at work.
Because apparently one of the earliest symptoms of steroid use is an inability to see the inanity in one’s actions or his own self-flaws. But I really don’t see the problem. Who cares if if someone decides 4:00 am is a great time to rearrange a kitchen drawer, or reorganize the fridge, or to face out all the labels on the cans and bottles in the pantry? (Maybe we’d better make that obsessions, too.) Or that 2:30 am is a fine time to practice guitar, or enjoy a tasty bowl of microwave mac n cheese? Hey, I’m half-deaf, and fading, so I can’t be making too much noise.
At least it’s no longer a surprise as I’m told my demeanor on “Roid Day” and “The Day After” can be expected to range from that of an excited and happy 14-year old girl on Prom Night, to that same now sassy and snappy young lass who has just been grounded for the weekend—and possibly scheduled for an exorcism. So I don’t blame J for sleeping thru as much of my unwinnable weekly wars as she can, or having “errands” to run on those days. Because I know deep in my heart what she does endure, on these and many other days, bless her, and without a word of complaint. It amazes me what she copes with; I’d probably get fed up with this moving target of a cantankerous old wise-ass one day and just ride on by.
But she stays. And, once the steroid storm is over and those particular clouds have blown clear, we find a way to make it a positive, or something to find humor in—and, trust me, after 48 hours awake, humor’s not hard for me to find. Nor is encouragement. Despite the roller-coaster they bring along, we know that these steroids, as upending as they can be, represent a shot—literally, at times… something, anything…the next other thing we can do to maybe help beat back a nasty little adversary that’s been harassing us. And if it turns out we were just running around the same circles, only at a much faster pace, then so be it; we’ll have given it its worthy shot. Damn the consequences.
Regardless, be forewarned that, should you happen upon me out on a Sunday or Monday and I seem a bit stressed, scattered, preoccupied or possibly possessed—even more so than usual, just rack it up to the ‘roids.
Then back slowly away. You’ll probably be glad you did.
SPECIAL NOTE: From a Gamecock forever—but a Sandlapper at heart, GO TIGERS! Make South Carolina proud and bring the title home to the Palmetto State. (But, then again, that could just be the steroids talking…)