This year marks the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s seminal album, Nevermind. I’m listening to it on Spotify.

Smells Like Teen Spirit reminds me of lying in the operating room, drugged to the gills with happy juice, waiting for my surgeon to install my port for chemo. The nurse leaned over me. “I hope you don’t mind the music, the doctor likes to listen to 98 Rock.”

Hello, hello, hello.

I was in high school when Nirvana hit the radio waves; that music is inscribed deep in my brain. I found the driving guitars soothing. “No, it’s fine,” I said. “I like Nirvana.”

Hello, hello, hello.

“Okay, I’m going to administer the anesthesia now. I want you to count backwards from ten.” I got to eight before disappearing into a swarm of grunge oblivion.

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous.


When I woke up, my hair was matted with blood. My post-op nurse gently washed it out for me. I guess sticking a tube into the jugular is a bloody proposition. I was so loopy from drugs at that point that I really wasn’t disturbed.


It’s been raining this past week. Today is the first bright day in a while. The mushrooms are thriving; I have no idea if any of them are edible, but they’re all fascinating to look at.

Amazing to think that something as simple as taking a bite of the wrong fungus could snuff out a human’s entire life force. That something as insistent and resilient as the will to live could be sliced clean through by a mistake.

Never give in; never, never give in.
– Winston Churchill