Ammo Dump Radio

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<< A Life Well Wasted

My Happiest Day


My name is Harold Gunderson. I'm forty-one years old, and I have an inoperable spinal axis tumor that will kill me in about three years. Most folks in my predicament will say that they've been "diagnosed" with the tumor, as if to distance themselves from the disease. Kind of like when you ask a guy in prison what he was convicted of. Just because he was convicted doesn't mean he did it. And just because someone was diagnosed doesn't mean they got it. But not me. I got it. A big nasty tumor I've named Gordon.
I've lived a small, petty life, and when I am gone it would be said of me that my life was wasted. Note that I specify that it "would" be said, because more than likely there will be nobody I leave behind who could comment on how I lived my life with any kind of authority. I tend to push people away with my abrasive style, and I am not much for leaving the house except in case of emergency. Thanks to the internet, I've found that I can make and spend money without leaving a twenty square foot space in my home.
So, in the absence of anyone who can testify to the fact that I at one point existed, I have decided to document my decline in health and ultimate demise online. In these entries, I hope to share my perspective on the limited wonders I've experienced in my life. It is my hope that, in its way, my journey will be seen as having its own arc that rivals that of great adventurers, if only on a smaller scale. When one is as limited in their exposure to the world as I am, a rough night on the toilet is as epic as a trek through the Congo.
Gordon will often remind me he's still around and quite in control of my life. Sometimes it's with spasms of pain that contort my body to the point of snapping ribs, while other times it is with a paralyzing grip that causes me to lose control of any function that keeps body fluids from spraying out of me like a 2-Liter of Diet Coke with a Mentos dropped in it. So this morning, as I was writhing in my own filth on my kitchen floor, I had some time to contemplate exactly where I'd be going with the remainder of my life. I've lived in this house my entire adult life, and in this town for my life entire. I once stepped foot outside the county line when I was in my late teens and was promptly hit by the cross-town bus that transports the staff of the local insane asylum to the trailer park down on Gibbons road. I spent a good part of my early twenties in a coma following that little incident, and it taught me pretty much everything I ever needed to know about the world outside my comfort zone.
To not make this too grim an affair, I would like to switch gears and talk about the happiest day of my life. It was about six years ago. I woke up to the screams of my mail-order bride as she had gone into labor. While I had yet to consummate the marriage, which at that point was in its sixth year, I was quite aware that the father of this child was most likely the mailman, a pair of Mormon missionaries, or Duke, a guy who she met online that started coming to the house and spending the night. In any case, the morning that her offspring decided to claw its way out of her well-used uterus was blessed indeed. 
While Duke loaded her into the basket on his mountain bike for the trip to the hospital, I found myself awake before dawn for the first time in decades. Her screams had shocked me awake in time to catch a "Creature from the Black Lagoon" marathon on cable. In and of itself, it was shaping up to be a wonderful morning. What put it over the top was the fact that all three films had been colorized. With a bowl of Count Chocula and a bottle of fresh Yoo Hoo, it was a day of complete sensory satisfaction that has gone unrivaled ever since.
My mail-order bride, whose name I want to say was Olga, but I could be mistaken, eventually divorced me. In the settlement, she asked only for my mother's ashes, and upon taking possession of them she flushed them down the toilet along with what Duke had termed "a steaming hot deuce" that he had spent the previous night and better part of the morning grunting out. I suspected ill-intent in this act, and a symbolic rejection of my very bloodline, but I can't help but look at the sunny side. Some day, I too shall be reduced to ash. While in this life, the world outside holds no fascination for me, I believe that in the after, when I am freed of my earthly bonds, I will find a trip through the plumbing of my beloved home to be the adventure of, maybe not my lifetime, but of the next.
I must sign off for now, as Duke and Olga(?) have returned from their weekly road trip to the surrounding counties. They usually return with a great deal of cold medicine and retreat to the basement for days on end. Seeing as how their adventures seem to end with nothing but horrible colds, I feel somewhat emboldened in my choice to never leave the house. It's a dangerous world out there.