When I was writing news copy for our high school radio program (Choctaw Chatter…Choctawhatchee HS, Fort Walton Beach, Florida), I don’t recall checking the obits as part of my beat. Funny, that. Obituaries weren’t at the top of my task list with the Parker Pioneer (Parker, Arizona), either. My omissions were ones of youth and ignorance. It hadn’t yet dawned on me that people died regardless of their age and their passing was–not just to them, either–a significant event.
Now that my hair is gray, my teeth are wrinkled and mini-me sleeps soundly through even the most enticing situations, I skim the obits whenever and wherever I find them. One never knows when I might discover my own name lurking there. I’ll sigh. “So the son of a bitch finally died,” I might murmur.
My army fright instructor (yeah, that one…) told me one day I might look out through the windscreen and see something strange in the sky. “What the hell is that?” I would murmur to myself. “Why, it’s a number,” I’d continue. “It’s…it’s…MY NUMBER!”
Did I see a number outside when I peered out my office window five years ago? (Not yet, stand down…you got an hour yet to go…) No, not that I know of. I just kinda…well…shit…I don’t know what I did. My mind transformed into a tabula rasa at least for the span of a few days.
Today, so far, I can remember most of my accomplishments. I walked up the hill, down the hill, around the streets in the ‘hood. Three miles worth. I freshened up a couple of my knives on the Spyderco (R) Sharpmaker then I ran them across a leather strop. I walked back up the hill so I could sit around and swap lies with my neighbor. (Not the thug next door who was out back smoking marijuana while he sold crack to his latest customers; I was talking to the former Marine who shares a few of my values…what few values either of us still have…)
I did mundane things. I fixed Seidenbacher (R) muesli with fresh fruit. I ate a slice of yesterday’s rye and whole wheat sourdough. Tonight Significant Other and I will watch a film.
And likely tomorrow I’ll remember what I did without going back and reading this drivel. I’ll let you guys know.