During my lifetime, I’ve watched WAY too many movies. I even had grand illusions of writing a screenplay or two during my early days, such as the yet to be released Sci-fi thriller Work ‘Til You Die “Government regulations allow all adults to remain on paid vacation from the ages of 18 to 55, at which time they go to work for the remainder of their lifetimes”.
Oh my, think of the discussions that this movie might generate and the winks between siblings after snickering about Uncle Frank’s chewing style during a Thanksgiving Day dinner. “Yea, Uncle Frank. Chew on this idea while you’re gnawing on that turkey drumstick. You’re going to work this coming Monday. FOREVER!.”
As a teen, I more than once drove my car so fast on back country roads that the automobile went airborne.
Because I skipped Red Cross sponsored lessons and played pick-up basketball games instead, I swim like a rock. A large, round one. In college, I jumped from the 50 foot mark on the wall of an abandoned quarry. Feet first, into water, I’m not stupid.
My friend and I went body surfing in Daytona Beach during the wee hours of the morning, in almost complete darkness. Listened to the radio the next day…”Shark warnings remain in effect. (Paraphrasing) Do Not body surf at 3 AM near the big dock where you were last evening, you idiots”.
During another strange evening, everyone at my apartment went to the beach for a swim. Except for me and a very large guy who looked a whole lot like Black Bart of professional wrestling fame. Somewhere around 3 AM, he proceeded to tell me about the time that he had found his girlfriend in bed with some other guy and, understandably, did the reasonable thing. He shot the guy and went on the lam, because he was pretty sure that he had killed him. (Uh, yea, I gotta go)
Once I went canoeing with a brother-in-law of mine. We tipped the canoe in twenty-foot deep water while fully clothed. I took my swim-like-a-rock abilities in the direction of the bank. Doggie paddling in a sinking direction, I came to the realization that I was not going to make it. As I neared the bank, I took my potential last breath and started sinking to the bottom. My feet landed on a large, submerged tree limb. I hung on to the tree branches above my head and then clawed my way up onto the bank.
In the one automobile wreck of my life, I attempted to cross a four lane, divided highway during a torrential rainstorm. I was T-boned by a large Suburban SUV, then carted off, while unconscious, to the hospital. The ER staff prodded and X-rayed, then released me with a clean bill of health.
And lastly is my lovely “Summer of 2015”. A consequence of my own stupidity resulted in a lengthy hospital stay, with multiple conditions that were spelled with a lot of i’s or e’s and ended with -nia or -sis. My parents were told that I might not make it. Dying is all fun and games until someone rips at the hearts of your parents.
So what is the point of this strange rambling? Well, unlike the past, it is now fueled by caffeine and hot chocolate instead of red wine and cigarettes. A new sensation it is. While living a life full of stories like the sampling above, occasionally I’d secretly think to myself “what the hell is going to kill me?” You know, the Bruce Willis/”Unbreakable” syndrome.
Well there’s another syndrome that I thought that I had invented and have never discussed it with anyone. It’s sort of like the feeling of a Deja-vu moment. But weirder.
For example: At our family Christmas gathering this year, I was three months out of a “he might die” diagnosis. At one point of the festivities, presents were being opened, everyone was giggling and laughing, and I was watching from my “power” spot in the back of the room. And then I got that strange feeling. Like a scene from a movie (“BeetleJuice”, i.e.), I thought to myself, what if I was dead, could hear and see everything, but could not be heard or seen by anyone. Surely, (don’t call me Shirly) I must be the only person who has ever had this strange feeling and train of thought! But NOOO. Like any self-respecting, fairly presentable, walking, talking Living Dead guy would do, I Googled it. And here’s what I found.
According to Wikipedia:
The Cotard delusion (also Cotard’s syndrome and walking corpse syndrome) is a rare mental illness in which an afflicted person holds the delusion that they are dead, either figuratively or literally; yet said delusion of negation is not a symptom essential to the syndrome proper.
Whew! All along, I had been worried that there was something wrong with me. All of those delusions of negation and other things like that had been causing me concern for no good reason. What a relief.
So now for the lesson to be learned from this story:
Please remember the following when encountering myself and my fellow Cotards.
Give us a simple “hello”, “good morning”, or “how ya doing today?”
It can put a little pep in our step and will make us feel alive.
No, that probably won’t work.
It’ll make life seem worth living. No… probably way past the point.
Well anyway, just be nice.
Well, I’m off to bed. I’ll be dead asleep in no time:)
Photo Credit: My Goddaughter…just because she’s beautiful. The pic has nothing to do with the story!:)