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Friday, April 27, 2007

Something in the Air

It's like finals week for my soul. i'm being tested left and right. Today's, and by that sobriquet i in no uncertain terms mean to imply that these dilemmas are confined to calendar days. Quite the contrary, i assure you, they're running all over each other like kittens trying to get out of the pet store. i need TIVO for my life! "Today's" merely refers to the forty-five minutes i have to try and put the particulars of one of these tests down in print. Which would go a lot smoother if i didn't have the wordy habit of spinning off on blinkin' tangents!

"Today's" trial is summed up by a little brown bottle on my counter. And whether or not i'm going to start consuming once per day on an empty stomach for the rest of my life, the contents of said bottle. It is a titanic struggle with life and death in the scales and what's mostly at stake is my philosophy.

i am not a big believer in 'better living through chemicals.' In my humble and superstitious serf's opinion, the pharmaceutical companies are money making empires bent on world domination. If they accidentally invented a pill today that suppressed the urge to breathe you can bet all the lint in your jean pockets that tomorrow the marketing hordes would be laying seige to the atmosphere with "Air will kill you, stop breathing today! Ask your doctor if Damnitall is right for you!"

So when the kindly old Imperial ambassador at the local embassy tells me that i have high blood pressure and that it could, over time, lead to a condition known as death i start wondering... which am i more afraid of:

  • That he really is a well intentioned, kindly old man who is afraid that i might drop dead at forty-two from stroke or heart attack?
  • Or that he's the updated version of the pusher in a lab coat who is selling me a bill of goods so that i develop all kinds of conditions (that oh, by the way, we have other little pills to cure) by living in fear of another so called condition that is known as life?

My fatalism tells me that what i've been handed is the murder weapon in my own homicide. When God decides that it's finally time to release me from this prison, i stand a very good chance of knowing what M.O. the Grim Reaper will be using. My cynicism tells me that when man tries to avoid fate he most often gets a new and usually worse one. You know, Monty, i'm going to trade door number one and the sixty year life span that ends suddenly on a hike for what's behind door number two. Okay, let's see what you've won: Weeeeelllll Mr. Dogg, you've won a lifetime of battling a runny nose, hacking cough, blurry vision, insomnia, erectile disfunction and dementia to finally waste away to nothing on a hospital gurney at the age of ninety-eleven lying in a steamy vat of your own juices! Congratulations!

After all this you would think that it would be pretty easy decision for me and the bottle and its genie would already be in the trash. One thing stays my hand. One thing causes a little tremor when i walk past it in the morning...

The thought of a stroke that only paralyzes one side of my body. Death is a bad car ride to the best vacation spot in the universe. But the thought of living on with the prison cell half caved-in, that scares me. i mean, i'd have to learn to type with only one hand. t wd e ts ("It would look like this.") i mean it's enough to drive a guy to stop breathing.

Pass the Damnitall.

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