Thursday, January 06, 2005

My Near-Death Potato Ricer

Peacebang had a very bad night. I woke up suddenly and thought the furniture was moving but when I turned on the light I realized it was my eyes that were jumping around like a muppet's, that my vision was badly blurred and my body shaking. It's amazing how many things go through your mind when you think you're having a heart attack or aneurysm and might die: (1) don't call family and freak them out or make them cry with helpless grief, just leave instructions that they should be told you love them after you're gone (2) put on a bra and a sweater, for god's sake (3) grab your purse and phone (4) call a neighbor (5) go into your study and put a small olive wood Cross in your pocket, which proves to be a big comfort through the rapidly deteriorating physical situation (including a really entertaining seizure with legs flopping and kicking all around), ambulance ride on icy roads (with two really young, hot EMTs!), and subsequent night spent in the ER.

I actually was very calm and cool about the possibility of dying, I just felt an atrocious wave of grief what it would do to my loved ones. I had the physical sensation of a gargoyle squatting on my chest most of the night, filing its nails and chewing gum. And I thought more than once, "What if this is my last thought? What if this was last image I saw before I died?" And then I'd respond to myself, "Well, that would be fine. Stop obsessing. Everyone has to have SOME last thought or image... don't expect yours to be all profound or something, Miss Saint Therese of Lisieux." I kept seeing patterns, lots of patterns and textures, as though the cosmos were a big potato ricer squishing out patterns and colors. Nothing like that has ever filled my head before.

Today I just feel like the Samsonite luggage must have felt after the gorilla got done with it.


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