Life is full of ironies. Little ironies and big ironies. Ironies of varying size and character; gentle ironies, vicious ironies, humorous ironies, heartbreaking ironies. I realize this may sound like an attempt to describe various dog breeds. You have your Terrier, your Sheepdog, your Shar-pei, and your Ironie.
But bear with me a moment.
The other day I was invited to write for an online community network devoted to good health and healthy living. It seems that the director, a doctor, had seen my blog on MS and etcetera, and liked it. Now here is where the irony comes in. The fact is that even though I have the credentials for being genuinely ill, thanks to MS, I am, as far as healthy living goes, rather more of an advertisement for what not to do.
The truth is that even as I write, I am as likely as not to have a cigarette tucked between my lips, obscured from the world by a wispy halo of tar and nicotine, and all those other strange additives we've heard about (and maybe some we have not).
Chances are that I have just finished a wholesome breakfast of frosted strawberry Pop Tarts and coffee, and will later, for lunch, enjoy a large bowl of Butter Finger ice cream. With chocolate syrup. But it was not always so. Time was, back when I was healthy (ironically), that I ate mostly healthy foods. I did not even like ice cream. Never did my shadow darken the door of McDonald's or Burger King. I liked rice, and potatoes, and pork chops, and broccoli. For a snack I would eat tortilla chips rather than caramel corn.
This present diet of mine, as far as I am concerned, is a direct result of multiple sclerosis. How else could it be that I have suddenly, in the last 2 years, no taste for nutritious foods? The idea of a normal meal may occasionally sound good, and certainly I know it is proper; yet when I sit down to the table, I find that I have no appetite at all.
This is something the dogs are happy about, for they are at least one step above the garbage disposal as far as the leftover contents on my plates go. Someone always benefits from another man's trouble. It's a cosmic law.
I consider my having ended up with multiple sclerosis to be an irony in itself. It is an irony in the same way as when a concert pianist, for instance, loses nine of his fingers, or when a race car driver loses an arm, or when a seeing eye dog loses his sight.
I have always wanted to write. I have always wanted to put down my feelings and thoughts in a cogent, artful way, with competence, with a consistent sort of grasp--and now here I am with a cognitive disorder, struggling to maintain my grip on the basic mechanics of language. Here I am looking up words like want and boat and jump in the thesaurus!
This is one of the funny sorts of ironies. Funny like a Chinese Crested dog--you know, the kind without hair, except for a shock on the head and tail--the kind that always wins the ugly dog competitions?
So maybe I can't talk much about good health. But I sure as hell know about irony, and irony itself is surely one of the first children of multiple sclerosis.