If you have been around me in the past week and a half, you have experienced my pain. You see, my friends, I have a canker sore, and I can’t seem to go five seconds without grousing, grumbling, groaning, moaning, whingeing, bellyaching about this thing, thereby making my peers’ lives as hellish and miserable as my own. A typical interaction with me in the past week probably looked a bit like this:
Unsuspecting Sweet Friend: Hello Ritam!
Me: I have this fucked—ugh, it’s so disgusting. I shouldn’t talk about it. But I have a canker sore. And it’s really ruining my entire life.
USF: Oh god, I hate canker sores. Here, you should try this remedy. Best of luck with that! Now, onto greener conversational pastures.
Me: It’s hell. It’s Dante’s inferno. This morning I was eating Hot Cheetos and it hurt so much…
USF: Hot Cheetos in the morning?
This is where the USF mentally files away that I ate Hot Cheetos in the morning. I can see and feel them doing it. I can’t undo what I’ve said, so in a pathetic attempt to dig myself deeper into squalor, I continue to excavate the thing in my mouth.
Me: It hurts so much and I can’t do anything… having a canker sore has ruined my entire life.
USF: Hm, yes, it can feel that way, can’t it?
Me: It’s not contagious or anything. It was caused when I bit my lip while eating. I googled it.
USF: [looking around for an exit]
Me: If you go on r/cankersores, you’ll see—people have real problems.
USF: Reddit is so crazy…
Me: People have real problems on r/cankersores. One guy had a sore on his uvula!
USF: [retching] Wow that’s crazy
Me: Yep. The world of canker sores is wild, messy, and a bit disorganized. But it’s a real community. There’s actually an organizing opportunity here. We should be bringing the afflicted into the fold—they can easily find solidarity with other mouth-injured folx.
Me: Yeah… anyway, I’m in a lot of pain
At this point, the friendship is irrevocably lost. I have driven away my dear USF, my sore continues to throb, the Redditors continue to post, and the days grind away at me until my nerves are frayed to small nubs. There is no escape from Canker Sore World, there has never been life without the pain, there will never be life without the pain.
It is here that I remember one of my favorite quotes:
I draw solace. I breathe. I remember there is a life without pain. I remember what it feels like to run my tongue over the inside of my lower lip and feel nothing but unbroken, smooth skin. A smile breaks through. I turn my face into the wind. The Lord Giveth….
You are such a huge baby…
Love the Rumi quote!