Monday, June 19, 2006
This is your life
There's a bag of blood in my chest. There's one in yours, too. This squishy sack of tough fibrous tissue bounces up and down like a weight on the end of a string once or twice a second. Every second. Every day. All your life. When that bag decides to stop jumping around in your chest, it's finito, sayonara, piss off, mate, and you better have your life insurance paid up.

Except, sometimes, you get really lucky, and there's a guy nearby who can electrocute the hell out of you -- burn sizzling smoking discs into your skin, make you shit yourself -- but that electrocution convinces the ol' ticker that maybe it's got a few more jumps in it after all. Then you end up in a hospital, where men in white coats use words like "myocardial infarct" and "congestive heart failure" and "terminal prognosis". And they put your name on a list, where you get to wait for somebody who is even more unlucky than you are to get really, really unlucky.

Then that day arrives, and some kid barely old enough to shave ends up breaking his neck in a motorcycle accident, and that bag of blood in his chest is in pretty damn good condition. So you get the call, and if you're not already in the hospital, they bring you in and shave your chest (if you're a guy) and they put you under and when you wake up, you're pissing into a bag hanging off the side of your bed. There are more tubes jammed in your body than Ted Kennedy has liver spots, and you feel different. The psychologist they assign to talk to you after you've got the heart of a dead teenager tells you it's all in your head, that your memories and your personality are still your own, but you can't help feeling younger.

After all, it's the first day of the rest of somebody else's life.
Posted by rightshu at 6/19/2006 06:55:00 PM ::

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