As I lay in bed this morning, eyes closed, I could hear my family moving about the house. Once or twice someone came quietly into the room for something then left just as quietly a few minutes later. I waited without moving, devoid of volition: sooner or later I would either stop breathing or have the desire to move. Neither option seemed more or less attractive than the other, nor did I feel as though the outcome would be by choice. It would simply…happen.
This must be what it’s like for some people when they’re dying, I thought. The quiet sounds of people coming and going, the feeling of calm, the sense of waiting for some process to unfold and reveal itself. I was a little more interested in what would happen if I stopped breathing because I knew what would happen if I stirred: I would begin the half-hour long process of clearing my lungs and sinus cavities of the night’s accumulation of mucus. Yes, I’m still fighting this blasted cold, and yes, I just implied that death would be more interesting and less tedious.
I have been told that I can be quite dramatic at times, and sometimes this overwhelms the message I may be trying to communicate. I acknowledge my tendency to hyperbole; I get it honestly, in different forms, from both sides of my family. But I solemnly swear that this time I am not exaggerating in the least, for dramatic effect or any other purpose. In that moment this morning when I hovered between consciousness and unconsciousness, it truly seemed more interesting to try something I hadn’t done before. It appears unfortunate in the retelling that the untried option was death, but it was wondrous and amazing in the moment of experience and in my memory.