Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Duck and Cover...Death is Afoot
Once, when my then-boyfriend/now-husband and I were much, much younger, we went to a Renaissance Faire down near Texas. There was a fortune teller there who read palms. Ah, yes, this intrigued me quite a bit, so I convinced my beloved that we should go find out our destiny; however, to insure that we did not skew her interpretation of our future events, I thought it wise what we quickly separate from one another and approach the mystic as though we were strangers (although, I presume that if she knew her craft she would, in fact, be wise to my foolish attempts to thwart her all-knowingness).
My beloved was informed that there was something that he did as a hobby which he would eventually do as a career (this has, in fact, proved to be true! One point for All-Knowing-One), and that he would have three children--possibly four (we did in fact have three children, and one very-early-on miscarriage, Two points for All-Knowing-One). She also told him (much to his relief) that he would die in his sleep rather in the tragic way he often worried. (Now, these fears of which she spoke were, in fact, true fears, but the jury is still out on ultimate manner of demise...so no points to anyone, yet.)
Yours truly (who wandered over after a decent amount of time had passed, and tried to look oh-so-disinterested) was told that I would have three children...perhaps four. (Wow! A total of three points for the All-Knowing-One) I was also told that I would live into my 90s, and would have two great loves in my life, and that one would be late in life. (Woo-hoo me! Ahem, sorry, babe!) She also said that later in life I would move and would live abroad. (Again, yah me!) No points here, yet. Time will tell.
However, the other night, I was quite certain that the All-Seeing-One's record would be shattered. You see, lately, I have been having issues with swallowing. (I know, I know, how hard is it? I have been doing all my life, for Pete's sake!) But, the other night, was particularly bad. I took my first bite of potato salad and it...stuck...it would not go up, and it would not go down. So, I excused myself and went to the bathroom (which, luckily, is only about a foot down the hall from our dining room). I coughed and struggled to breathe.
"You okay, honey?" came an overly cheerful voice from the dining room.
Unable to speak, I slammed the toilet lid a couple of times.
Yeah, that brought him running.
The kids did their "swirling around the feet, panicking thing" that they get from my mother-in-law (God bless her), and I became increasing aware of a crushing pain in my chest.
I slapped my back repeatedly, assuming this was some kind of Universal Code for "Give me the Fuckin' Heimlich Maneuver!" He quickly caught on and, after much manuevering and back thumping (on his part) and chest clutching, gasping, gurgling, drooling, and panicking (on my part), sweet relief found me--I could breathe again.
Sweet relief...because I was not ready for All-Knowing-One to break her streak; I was not ready for Death to claim me in my decidedly untidy bathroom, with tears and drool running down my face. I had always thought Death would find me at a slightly less embarrassing moment. It should be dramatic, and memorable and, preferably, heroic.
But then again, as I am all too aware...you just never know where Death, that bastard, is lurking. Maybe someday I will make friends with Death but, if so, it will be when I am in my 90s and living abroad with some hot stud.
Until then, it is duck and cover all the way.