I didn’t think looking down upon oneself when dead would be quite like this.
In fairness, I didn’t expect to die; not yet, anyway.
Let me tell you how it came about. I was walking home across the common, after having spent the most splendid evening with some old school chums. Good sorts, all of them; kind of chaps one could rely on in an emergency, never let a chap down, all that kind of thing. We’ve been meeting up like this for decades. Every year at this time, one or other of us plays host at a local restaurant, each of us trying to make the affair more grand than the year before. I thought I’d done it this year; posh restaurant (expensive enough anyway), celebrity chef, imaginative cuisine, and the atmosphere… let me just say that it’s the kind of restaurant where one is more likely to whisper than to talk loudly. Imagine the ambiance of a traditional gentlemen’s club in the City transported to a rural eating place and you’ll be quite close. For goodness’ sake, it’s even called the Sotto Voce!
But I digress.
After the meal and a few snorters to finish the evening off, the chaps piled into their respective cars and set off with cheery waves and cries of ‘à l’année prochaine’. The Sotto Voce is less than half a mile from my place, so I had chosen to walk, taking a short-cut across the common. I had gone no more than a hundred yards or so off the road when I came over really queer; horribly tight feeling in my chest radiating down my left arm. Happily, I had the presence of mind to call my wife on my mobile.
“Listen, old Gal,” I said, “having a bit of a turn here. Be a dear and call an ambulance, will you?”
“Oh, my God,” she exclaimed. “What happened? Where are you? Are you alright?”
“No time,” I explained, and told her near enough exactly where I was. Then the pain intensified, and I suppose I blacked out.
Now I seem to be floating above my own body, which is on a hospital bed surrounded by medics, and wires all over the place. It looks like the medics have cut into my chest and are directly massaging my heart. I want to shout out to them. I want to tell them that they’re wasting their time, that I’m dead already. I have no idea how I know that; I haven’t seen any distant light approaching me, or felt any call or anything else one is supposed to experience at the point of death, but somehow, I know it’s over.
As I look down and watch the doctors’ futile efforts, the scene start to fade into darkness and I drift away with a single thought: I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to my Lucy…
This week's 'Monday motivation' at esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com asked for a story beginning with the words "I didn’t think looking down upon oneself when dead would be quite like this."