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  • Writer's pictureAlex MacInnis

Pleasure and Pain

I wrote the following while in hospital, deciding whether or not to go ahead with major surgery to remove my large intestine.

Details......Pleasure......Pain. What do we remember? How can we forget?

Pleasure. I can remember more details from a single powder run on my snowboard from 4 years ago that will be etched in my memory forever. The cold snow hitting my face as I dropped my heel edge into my first turn,

disappearing under a cloud of fluffy snow. The crisp cold air as I breathed in. Heart racing with pure joy and exuberance at the weightless feeling as I floated down the run, bottomless powder, disappearing under each turn. I remember the sky being such a clear blue, though I know clouds had rolled in and out through the day. I was nervous as it was my first time being in the backcountry. I was nervous about being the slow guy, holding back my more experienced friends on such a good day. I have rarely, if ever ridden snow so light and deep. I was alive.

Pain, I can remember no details from my past 4 days laying in a hospital bed other than the feeling of wanting the pain to stop.

Time blurs, slows down, speeds up, all I want is to not feel. But how can I not want to feel, with memories of such pure joy? The pain has obliterated it all, there are no details, just pain. How long have I struggled? Have I had a truly good day? Pain free? Fear free? What does it feel like to wake up, and just be able to get up, and go about your day. That would be a pleasure, to not fear leaving the house without shitting myself. Could I go for a walk? Dare I dream of even going for a hike? Can I float down the side of a mountain again without thinking about heading straight to a bathroom? Maybe, just maybe I can stop stealing moments between bathroom rushes and pain and live again.

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