I consider myself a fairly happy-go-lucky person. I never went through a goth phase. I don’t listen to Bauhaus, and frankly, Edgar Allan Poe’s kind of a downer. Besides, why would anyone subject themselves to all that gloom and doom just for fun? Between stock markets faltering and unemployment woes soaring, the world is depressing enough. If I have two hours to kill, it will not be spent watching Sophie’s Choice; seriously, Pretty in Pink was tough enough to get through. It still pains me that Andie chose Blane over Duckie.

However, I have from time to time pondered my own mortality. In fact, I almost died once or twice… Okay, maybe not really, but it sure did feel like it. Though more unsettling than these would-be confrontations with death was the manner in which I was about to meet my maker. On both occasions, all I could think was, “This can’t be how I go out.”

My first encounter with the Grim Reaper occurred in a Ralph’s parking lot. (For those of you in the Midwest, I was at Jewel.) While loading groceries into my car, I suddenly noticed something in the sky. Not a bird. Not a plane. Not Superman. Rather it looked like some kind of spherical alien spacecraft, and while that may sound ridiculous, I was convinced that War of the Worlds was about to get real. My heart started to race. I looked around and noticed other shoppers looking up into the sky, also rendered immobile by the spectacle in front of them… Speaking of, you know how you’re watching a movie and the characters freeze when something bad is about to happen, and then you yell at the screen because they’re idiots and you know you would never just stand there and do nothing if the world was about to end? Well, you’re wrong. Tom Cruise didn’t instinctively know to get the hell out of Dodge; the script told him to steal that minivan and burn rubber. In real life, most of us would freeze because what exactly are you supposed to do if you spy alien ships descending upon earth? If they want to exterminate us, we’re pretty much dead no matter if we have icky human germs or not.

But I digress. In that moment, I wasn’t that bothered about meeting my demise; I just didn’t want it to happen in a Ralph’s parking lot. Seriously? This was how I was going to die? Not peacefully in my sleep surrounded by hundreds of loved ones? (I plan to be super rich when I’m old and have all my friends and family members fighting over my fortune after I kick the bucket.) Or perhaps I could go out in a literal blaze of glory rescuing orphans from a burning building? No, I was going to die in the O.C. surrounded by blinged out Escalades, fake and bake trophy wives and my bags of Totino’s pizza rolls.

As it turned out, I didn’t die. Instead I got in my car and booked it outta there as fast as I could. Upon reaching the safety of my home, I then went online to get the 411. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought our civilization was coming to an end; the local news reported multiple calls to the police department all due to a satellite having been launched that afternoon…

Fast-forward to last weekend. I’m taking a shower. Normally a routine procedure, but not on this fateful afternoon. As it was a very warm day, I had the window open in the bathroom (nothing can be seen from outside, I swear!) and was in the middle of sudsing my hair when all of a sudden I heard the unmistakable sound of a plane flying overhead. Except in this case, the plane seemed to be thirty feet overhead rather than thirty-five thousand… And it was getting closer.

“A plane is about to crash into my apartment.” This was the exact thought that ran through my mind; it was terrifying. All of a sudden I felt very alone, and time seemed to slow down. In fact I had enough time to realize that I was naked with shampoo in my hair and this was how they would find me in the rubble.

I braced one hand on the tile, the other on the glass door, and readied myself for impact. “I’m going to die in the shower. I’m going to die in the shower.” Here’s the other thing I realized in this moment. The whole life flashing before your eyes thing doesn’t really happen. Treasured memories don’t run through your mind like an old Super 8 movie. Loved ones that have passed on before you don’t suddenly appear to lead you into the white light. Instead you’re just thinking about how embarrassing it’s going to be when the first responders notice that you haven’t shaved in three days. Or at least that’s what I was thinking. Even on the brink of death, my vanity knew no limits.

Then I saw them pass by: the four military jets flying in perfect formation over my apartment building. Those jackasses. Because of them, I got shampoo in my eyes and was forced to contemplate my entire existence. Was my time on earth really over? What did I have to show for it? Just how big of a turnout would I get at my funeral? Man, they got me all worked up over nothing. Like I said, I don’t really like thinking about death… But dude, that dress Andie made for prom? I haven’t stopped thinking about that monstrosity since 1986.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

8 Responses to “A Matter Of Life And Death”

You are hilarious. I love this.

August 11th, 2011

You’ve had some great posts lately, Anna! This one had me laughing, though I kept expecting the Yosemite Death Road to make an appearance! 🙂

Actually I completely relate to the shower thing. Whenever we travel anywhere that is more than 2 hours away, I feel the compulsion to clean my house before leaving. Worse than the thought of dying in a gruesome car wreck is the thought of people coming in to my house and finding a sink full of dirty dishes!

August 11th, 2011

Thank you, sweetheart! BTW… You are missed. I want my Annick back.

August 12th, 2011

Thank you so much, J! You know, I was contemplating adding the Yosemite Death Road story, but thought it would probably contradict me saying that I never think about death. Plus, since I wasn’t alone, it might be a little creepy to tell everyone I thought I was about to die with my five family members. 😉 But yes! I totally agree… Whenever I take a trip out of town, I clean my apartment from top to bottom “just in case.” (Fingers crossed that never happens!)

August 12th, 2011

You are hilarious!!! I just love reading your posts. They always make me smile.

August 13th, 2011

Thank you so much, Caroline! Knowing that awesome people like you are enjoying my blog is the best part of it all!!! 🙂

August 15th, 2011

this is hilarious. and the opposite of how I think. 😉

August 19th, 2011

Heehee… Thank you, darling!

August 21st, 2011