Someone I know slightly came up to me today and said, “So I hear you’re feeling poorly… Are you dying?”
If I’d had my wits about me, I would have launched into my standard Philosophy 202 lecture about how we’re all fading from the moment of birth because life is a terminal disease, you always die from it. But I was kind of taken aback by the question, so I answered, “I don’t know…” Which is the truth, as I have no idea what small or momentous events are taking place right now in the little ecosphere that is my body.
When I got back to my car, I suddenly thought, “Jeez, maybe I really look bad!” So I checked in the mirror and no, I looked pretty much the same way I have for the past year or so. Whatever is happening inside, if anything, has not chosen to manifest itself on the exterior. I’m sort of glad about that; it would be difficult to live in McLean as a leper of sorts.
The comment, the more I think of it, will join others that well-meaning individuals have made regarding my situation. My favorite to date was the nice woman who told me I was lucky, it could have been ovarian cancer. I wanted to respond that not having ovaries would probably preclude that particular illness, but I didn’t, and I’m proud of it. I also liked, “Oh, my mother had that! Nothing to it!” Good on your Mom, dude! Another friend wondered whether I’d started drinking again. I haven’t and don’t plan to, unless they discover that alcohol can cure what I have. That’s never happened in the past so I don’t see it happening now. My second favorite was another lady who told me with great certainty that my situation was due to using too much Equal.
Here’s the thing, though: Everything said has been with the best of intentions. And for that I’m grateful, so keep those comments coming, folks!