Baker's Oven

The topic no one wants to talk about

Treatment day, a.k.a. "Recharge". A term coined by my high school geography teacher Keith Jones.
Treatment day, a.k.a. “Recharge”. A term coined by my high school geography teacher Keith Jones. Yes that is my arm, poked with an IV. I could tell you about the evolution of IV technology, but you’re probably a little green around the gills.

I tried writing this once before, and it just didn’t work: A quick note on my perspective of death.

I took plenty of anthropology classes. My mind is continually thinking of social criticism via the horror genre. I feign no fear of this topic, but frankly there isn’t a single person who isn’t afraid of it. I do find, however, people are too afraid of it.


Death is the ultimate loss of control.

Humans like control. All the neuroses have deep roots in control whether of self, or those around us.

But we’re never fully in control. That’s the beauty of the horror genre because it taps into that fear of chaos. To be at the whims of the supernatural is what terrifies us — to be a pawn in Death’s game, rips us out of our minds.

It occurred to me at work today, when we were on the topic of shaved heads, I mentioned I shaved mine twice: once for shits and giggles, and the second time to beat the side effects of a cancer medication I was going to be on for aplasia.

There was a pause, and an “Oh” issued from the person. I realized I was a little too liberal with my use of the C word.

The reason for my flippancy: I almost died at age 16. I had encephalitis developed through complications from chicken pox and the nurse just happened to be making her rounds when she came into my hospital room and found me not breathing. I was placed in a drug-induced coma for three days. Before that, I went to sleep in Oshawa. Woke up the next time in Toronto. Although I didn’t know it was Toronto. That’s the information my mom passed on to me.

So my perspective of death is one of acceptance. But it doesn’t mean I don’t fight for life. Hell, the marriage to my wife was what kept me going through ATGam treatment for aplastic anemia. On top of that I’ve battled acute ITP — got saddled with a few side trips after fighting them. In fact after my treatment for aplastic anemia I developed aspergillosis, of which I’m still suspected of battling. From the encephalitis, I developed epilepsy.

Regardless, there’s too much in life to live for, and that is why I have such disdain for those who take life — theirs or others.

My wife doesn’t like it when I go on a rant about how humans have such a paranoia about the D word that they are forced to save everyone. Why I write my fiction along the path of the horror genre is it is such a great critic for why people find necessary to beat nature at every interval.

The natural checks and balances — pathogens, animal attacks, weather — keep our populations down. There’s a reason for it. There’s a cynic in this optimist’s clothing. I jokingly theorize that perhaps our species’ fate is our arrogance. We will kill ourselves by simply running out of resources via overpopulation.

Resources aren’t infinite. Which is why I’m a little bit green when it comes to recycling, not wasting water and not littering.

That’s also why I have a tremendous respect for the pre-European contact first nations. They used every part of an animal, and respected their part in nature. Which included death.

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