Part one is available here. Part two is available here.

If you ask Chainsaw how many surgeries he has endured, and he tells, it’s because he wrote the number down on a piece of paper somewhere. That’s the only way he can remember. To say that he remembers all of them is false; there were just too many, too traumatic, too surreal.

The most insidious of Chainsaw’s afflictions by far are the seizures that he suffers. In the earlier years they were many. In the latter years they tapered off and went away completely. In the recent months, they have reared their ugly heads once again to torment him.

Having had a single seizure in my entire life, I can say it was the most horrifying mental event of my existence. Terrifying is an understatement. Unfortunately, you are painfully aware of every second of a seizure, all too cognizant of each dreadful moment. Yes, I have had only one, as in 01. If you were to ask Chain how many he has had, he would have to go look at the number written down on that same piece of paper, next to his number of surgeries.

He’s a tough scrappy sort, that guy is. He is the first person I have ever heard use that expression: “Every day above ground is a good day.” He texted that to me in one of the first text exchanges we ever had. What an amazing thing to say; what an amazing man, I remember thinking. It took months and months to learn just how bad things were for Chain, because he just didn’t volunteer the details, and he just did not complain.

By the time I learned most of the truth—I venture I don’t know it fully still—I marveled and agonized over my insensitivity over the months. How could I have been so obtuse, moreso even than the warden of Shawshank. I was an obtuse fellow, of that I truly did fancy myself.

And so it goes:

I come around; God knows how much time has elapsed. I hear a dude with a heavy German accent telling me that I have a very serious head wound , and I need surgery, Yeah, ya think? I cut SGT Schultz off at the knees and told him to not bore me with the details, as I have a fucking headache.