Thursday, August 09, 2007

She was unavailable

Death is 10 steps from me. That’s what I told her. She won’t believe me. 10 steps. 1. 2. 3… I don’t know if they’re big ones or small ones. Maybe I take 3 steps and then 14 years pass. Maybe 9 come in one week and the last one doesn’t arrive until my late years. What if 4 of the steps are not mine, I am not in the right mind, can I go back?

I can even smell it but I couldn’t tell you what it smelled like. I do not hold prophecies nor do I believe in them. However I’m sure of this one thing about my death: it has me in its sights. The thoughts of it beleaguer me at night. It’s on the tip of my nose, dangling like a Christmas ornament, one of Santa’s reindeer. Maybe it’s Dasher. Or Blitzer, he’s always had shifty eyes.

It’s on me too. I dust it off from time to time as it thinks it can just creep up on me ever so slowly and quietly, tip toeing across my blank days. I stare at it. But it doesn’t return the favor.

I make it a case to look at myself in the mirror every day for a few minutes. I stand there agape as a wondrous child discovering new things about my body. But, instead of discovering, I cherish. I grope my nose; I become cross eyed so I can see its blurry tip. I know my penis curves to the right a little but I stop feeling weird. I run my left finger tips through my hair. I pick my ear. I smear it on the mirror.

Skin cancer was the 4th step. I was finally notified via a letter—no return address, as usual. Three must have been that grandma I kicked out of that apartment complex because of that damn annoying, barking pitbull. That was truly worth it though.

I told Charlie about my concerns. He nodded. He clearly wasn’t interested. I’ve been friends with him for damn near two years. Charlie reiterates “don’t worry”. Well, worry doesn’t apply to Charlie if you’d have gotten a glimpse of him. That oxygen canister by his bed makes him look like a deplorable wreck. His cough must be his signal.

I waited for a sign. I swear that thing I did last night was 6, 7 and 8. I’m not liking this element of surprise one bit—tell me!

I check my seat belt three times before I leave the drive way. I pull on it. I tug at it as if was the last iPhone available for another 90 days. I brake hard at an intersection to test the seat belt’s strength. I know I’m paranoid.

Last night I heard it outside. This morning on the 8 I saw its shadow moving behind me like it was practicing to be me, know me, take me. Right now surveillance is in a dispute on whether or not to consider these choice words I said about former friends was step 9.

My flight leaves at 9 AM. I won’t see this place for a while. I called her from the seating area to say goodbye. She was unavailable. I chose not to leave a message.


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