At the Big Cancer Meeting (which is possibly the single most depressing name for a gathering of people ever) where Hazel, all her doctors, Ma and Pa sit around and discuss what to do about her cancer, she is told that the medicine is keeping her tumors in check, but it will not be able to hold them in small Eastern European states for ever. (I am truly sorry! It is 3 AM here and I am ashamed of myself.) When talking of how they might deal with the fact, that her tumors are not growing, but not going away either, it is decided, that they will “Stay the course” which is doctor-speech for “We’ve run out of ideas, sorry.”
Hazel, for, I believe, the first time, is verbally not cool with just crawling into a corner and waiting to die like a sick cat. All it took was a hot boy and the promise of a trip to the red-light district. Really, Haze? Really?
Our girl Hazel has lived with the threat of imminent death for many years. I understand how that might make her apathetic and why she has to trivialize her illness and possible demise for her own sanity. However, her priorities seem pretty fucked up to me. Maybe I was just never a 16 year old, cancer-ridden straight girl and as such I can never understand. Maybe I’m just a jaded, grumpy, almost 29 year old who has forgotten what being 16 felt like. (Though I swear it was only yesterday.)
Once Hazel gets back home from Depresso-con ’12, Augie calls and she lets him know that the pot-fuelled tour de force of the red-light district might not happen, because her doctors do not want her to die. (Ugh, doctors! Am I right? So lame!) Augie decides to be a total creeper and says he should have just kidnapped Hazel after their Dutch picnic, put her on a plane to Amsterdam and have her die there by drowning in her own lungs. At least then he would have gotten laid. It turns out Augie, much like a certain Mr. Durst, does it all for the nookie (Yeah).
Augie admits he is a virgin and claims it is difficult to get some lovin’ when he is missing a leg. I am thinking he is just using the wrong approach. You do not want to go for the pity fuck, you want to use humour to make the one-leggedness less scary. “Hey girl, you are smokin’, but I’m afraid with someone like you, I don’t have a leg to stand on.” If I was Augie’s wing-woman he might have a limp, but he’d be ballin’ like a pimp. Just sayin’!
When it is time for beddy-bye-bye, Hazel has a new buddy. A machine called a BIPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) that breathes for her so she remains alive. Pretty practical. The machine whirs, rumbles and hums and that makes her think of a pet dragon, which in turn makes me think of Lockheed, Kitty Pryde’s dragon. Yay Lockheed!
The following day Hazel sits in the garden looking at her old swing set. She muses on how she does not want her cancer to kill her before she is dead and yes, finally, thank you! Our heroine has at last decided to live! Maybe she will give up trying to “minimize her crater” or whatever and get her mack on with the Augster. Dude could use some sugar, even if he is a little creepy.
Speaking of Augie, he comes over and the pair decide that the swing set is depressing as fuck and needs to go. I was hoping for a smashy-crashy-trashy bit of destruction, but instead they put it on Craigslist. They have a bit of fun (and manage to make me laugh as well) while coming up with the text for the ad. While waiting for replies, Augie reads aloud from AIA and Hazel falls in love.
After a healthy night of sleep with trusty Lockheed by her side, Hazel wakes up to an email from Woody’s assistant. Simply put they are both excited to see Augie, Hazel and Ma in Amsterdam the following week. Hazel shouts Ma to her side, Cartman style. Ma comes running in wearing only a towel, seems she was trying to relax with a nice bath and my heart breaks into tiny little pieces. So far Ma is my favourite character.
Anyway, the trip is back on and as Hazel is texting Augie, he is already planning how he is going to burn his V-card like it was a draft card in 1967.
Will Ma ever get to relax? Will Lockheed join them on their trip to Amsterdam? Will Augie out-creep himself? I don’t know, but let’s find out immediately. Yes immediately because chapter 9 is tiny and you guys are so nice so I’ve decided to do a double feature this week.
Onwards to chapter nine!
Hazel is back in Sucky Cancer Youth Group Therapy after a long absence. One kid has died and there are some new faces. Nothing much really happens apart from Isaac and Hazel joking about him being blind now and him inviting her over once SCYGT is done.
They play a video game that is only sound and which is voice controlled. I guess it is not really a video game if there is no video… They play an audio game and it seems kind of fun. Having to make up the images in your mind sounds cool and I guess the endless graphics debate is moot. I am on board with the audio game!
Isaac inquires about Hazel’s feelings for Augie and we are again back at the “Not leaving an impact” BS. I feel I have made my feelings very clear on that issue so I will not discuss it further.
Aaaand that is all for chapter nine, told you it was a short one.
Will they ever fucking make it to Amsterdam? Is there an audio games e-sports scene? If so, how do I get started? Guess we will see about that next week. Ta ta!