When I woke up this morning I knew I was going to die today.
I had woken up before my alarm clock went off, it was still dark outside. The room was quiet the only sound was the constant ticking of the clock in the hallway.
It wasn’t a dramatic revelation like the actors on stage make it out to be. There was no voice over and there was no background music to give a sense of what was to come.
It was just a simple, slow yet steady awareness in the back of my mind.
“Today will be your last”
I felt my feet go cold as a shiver ran down my spine. There was a sudden feeling of stuffiness in my chest and I realized I wasn’t breathing, I had been holding my breath all this time.
I gripped the side of my bed as I tried to calm myself
“You are having a panic attack, that’s all. You will be fine. Breathe”
Eventually, I calmed myself and was able to go back to sleep.
When my alarm woke me up a couple of hours later, I had forgotten all about my midnight panic attack. I was fine, until I was about ready to leave the house.
Once again that slow yet steady voice chirped in
“Last coin today, spend it wisely”
I froze. Determined not to have another attack I willed myself out the door and into the streets.
Once outside, I was convinced that something was wrong. It seemed like I was staring at the streets through an old blank and white TV. Like someone had drained all the color from the earth.
“What’s happening? Is this a joke?”
I stumbled over a man walking his dog. I couldn’t keep straight.
I tried to act normal, people where starting to stare.
I ducked into a nearby coffee shop and sat away from the window. I needed to clear my head. I must be going crazy
“or maybe you are just dying”
Surprisingly this time there was no quiver, there was no panic attack. There was nothing. There was less than nothing, emptiness.
Somehow, even though I can neither explain how nor why, I had always known that I would get a heads up before I died.
“so why are you so shocked?”
Suddenly everything lost its meaning. Earlier I had been worrying about meeting deadlines and finishing projects. None of that mattered anymore.
I was surprised by the sense of peace that seemed to wash over me. I resolved to spend this day, “my last day” doing all the things I absolutely loved while I awaited my grand exit.
For the first time in a long time I felt light and in control. I reached for my cellphone, but thought against it.
“No cell phones today”
I dropped it back in my bag and walked out of the coffee shop.
“Keep your eyes open!! open your eyes”
The words seem to drift towards me from far away, like when a person is overhearing a conversation thru a vent.
I opened my eyes and realized I was on my back and I couldn’t move. Someone was pointing a flashlight in my eyes, there was a ringing in my ears. A doctor was running towards the gurney that carried me while a nurse was trying to put a needle in my arm.
Consciousness was slipping back into me.
I looked around, trying to remember what had happened. Then I saw it him and everything came flooding into my mind. I felt my head going soft from all the weight of the memory. I couldn’t stay awake, like my mind was desperately seeking to escape all that was happening.
“I guess this is it, I guess I’m dying”
Then I blanked out again, except it wasn’t the type where everything suddenly goes black. It was the drifting kind, like I was retreating far away from my own mind, from everything.
I don’t think I ever came back.
The doctors say I was hit by a bus as I stepped out of the coffee shop. They say I fell to the side-walk and banged my head pretty bad. They tried to save me but even their best attempts have left me catatonic. I do not remember much of anything. Even in my most lucid moments I only feel the fresh taste of the wind outside the coffee shop and then I see his face, they say he’s the bus driver.
I am here always, I try to leave but my legs won’t carry me. I can hear all they say and I respond when they talk to me but they don’t hear me. It feels like it’s just me and the voice. The voice didn’t leave.
“Now you are dead”
This isn’t what death is supposed to be.
Maybe this is the death I deserve.