A slow moving accident




No, Iím not the first person to feel this way. Plenty of people have come down this road. But hell, I never thought I would end up this way.

Sure thatís what everybody says. Thatís how it happens. You never think about life until the doctor gives you the bad news.

I thought it was the flu. I felt weak. I started sweating at night. People do get sick with other things. You donít automatically panic every time you donít feel completely right.

You just go get some pills until you get over it.

But how do you get over a death sentence?

Oh sure, when you test positive, itís not immediately the end of the world. You tell yourself that will the right cocktail and a few good healthy habits, you can beat it.

But can you?

Thatís like saying you can spit in Deathís eye, and keep the grim reaper from collecting you Ė ever.

When youíre a kid, you donít think about death at all. You look ahead and think sixty or seventy years seems like an eternity.

I actually thought if I lived that long Iíd get bored with living

But I came to realize that the closer I came to it, the more I needed to put it off. And when you get early news like I got, you most often feel cheated out of the difference.

I know I believe I ought to get my full share before leaving this place.

Thatís what I tell people when they tell me Iím going to snip it off in the middle leaving me with the impression that I was young once, then suddenly old, and never had an opportunity to experience what came between.

They tell me I could live a year or two, maybe as much as ten. But Iíll never squeeze twenty or thirty out of it.

Thatís just not in the cards.

Anyone who says they donít feel cheated is lying.

Or scared.

Or maybe a little pissed off.

I know I keep looking around for someone I can blame.

Thatís the part that hurts the most. Iím the one to blame. If I had been just a little more careful, I might still have forty or fifty years to look forward to.

One small mistake.

Sure, Iím going to take care of myself after this. Iím going to fight this thing like I fought for everything else in my life. I really am trying to spit in Deathís eye.

Yet inside, Iím crying. Inside Iím still the kid my mother used to comfort after nightmares. Only this isnít a nightmare and my mother canít tell me everything will be all right.

Because it wonít be.

Sometimes, I look at the whole situation as if Iím an accident victim going through everything in slow motion.

I can see the truck steering in my direction in excruciating slowness. But I just canít manage to leap out of its way.

I watch it coming closer and closer inch by inch, and I know when it gets close enough, when the torture of its approach it too much for me to bear, Iíll wish for it to be over and done with, and yet, it will still take its damned time.


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