I DIED WITH MY EYES OPEN
Today I would like to return to your awareness an aspect of the Human condition that ultimately succumbs to the biological experience we call life. Yes, death seems inevitable and inescapable. There are those who appear to cheat it at times but sooner or later we are all paid a visit by that rather grim-looking, cloaked entity who gestures with a scythe.
When that mythical bony hand comes knocking, there will be few places to run and hide. The idea of venturing into the unknown can be a terrifying proposition for us— and there’s certainly no greater unknown than what waits on the other side. The tendency to fear death is perfectly natural, perhaps even necessary. Yes, death is to be avoided at all costs, and yet we find ourselves fascinated by this mysterious and most prodigious of all eventualities.
In the following paragraphs I intend to die. Yep- that’s right, I’m going to choke on a Giuliano jalapeno-stuffed olive and pass over the great divide into the ever after. I’ll tell you all the things I see and feel along the way. Now mind you, this is only a simulation, as I am in no particular hurry to experience the real deal. But I’ve imagined such a moment a good number of times, and so in this sense it’s just another day for me.
“An olive of all things,” I think to myself as I asphyxiate. It would have been considerably better and wiser to have chewed it rather than inhale it. But they tasted so good and I got a little carried away. If provided the opportunity to reconsider my lackadaisical attention to chewing and swallowing, I certainly would now seek that option. No such choice is on the table. Seems I remember a variation of the Heimlich manoeuvre that could be administered in a lonely and dire circumstance such as this. Still thinking there’s a chance my olive will pop back out.
Well that’s the pits. There’s genuine urgency now. The adrenaline is pumping, which doesn’t seem to help my current situation whatsoever. This thing is not going to pop out and so I find myself in a frenzied state of panic, fear and dizziness. The struggle is initially intense, but before too long I feel my body hitting the floor and staring up toward the ceiling. I never noticed that cobweb in the corner before. Someone should really take care of that.
At the edge of consciousness I find that I’m now no longer concerned for me but how others will be affected. I sure don’t want to upset anyone, but it would seem my fate is sealed— I’m a goner. I’ve walked away from serious car wrecks and even survived picking a fight with someone twice my size. I suppose either one would have offered a more spectacular exit. But an olive— yes, that delicious little olive, would ultimately spell my demise. I find the irony both terrifying and amusing. As I slip into unconsciousness I am finally relieved of my struggle.