It doesn't play into my life too much--being paranoid about dying in my sleep--but I think about it every once in a while, usually right after I wake up.
It's kind of part of the deal.
There are so many things I take for granted.
Oxygen, water, public transportation, bone marrow, The Postal Service, the thread in my clothes (and bringing that further, the ability to make more thread), gravity, the absence of personal violence (that is, violence against me), my circulatory system, television programming, upholstery staples, the indifference of rabid animals, police protection, my brain, laundry detergent, expiration dates, the understanding that once rain starts it can only last so long, the foundation of my house, the DPW, the sun, the moon, my ability to hear sound, the yarn in my scarf, George Lucas, my ability to remember to put clothes on before I leave the house, winter, spring, summer and fall, my keys, my locks, my heart, fabric softener, the adhesive properties of latex paint (or any paint for that matter), my taste buds, my ability to play music, my lungs, the glue in my sneakers, the fire department, my pancreas, tectonic plate movement, the U.S. Treasury, the needle on my record player, GM, mutually agreed upon traffic rules, the chemical compounds in my prescriptions, and waking up in the morning.
I mean, how can I do anything if I can't do that?
I don't know what I did to deserve it--what I did that, say, the guy in Anchorage who is 38 and died in his sleep didn't.
I went to the gym. I went to rehearsal. I spent time with Paul. I took a shower. I paid some bills. I watched a movie. I brushed my teeth. I went to bed ...
... and here I am.
I have beautiful art on my walls made by people I respect and admire.
I have an nice collection of records, movies, CD's, mp3's, and an enviable entertainment system to play it on.
I'm in the middle of a great book, and I have one that I plan to buy when I'm done with this one.
I have a package coming in the mail that I am very much looking forward to receiving.
I have a gig to play tomorrow.
I have a memorial service for a Chorus member to go to this weekend (Fred Knittle, 83, who passed away on New Year's Day).
I have plenty of bills to pay for plenty of service that I have thoroughly enjoyed--among them: heat, water, electricity, the internet, my phone, my TV, and the luxury of owning a piece of property on the earth.
But none of it will matter in the slightest if--when I go to sleep tonight (which I plan on doing)--I don't wake up tomorrow.
Some may call me paranoid.
I just call me thankful.
I mean, what grand scheme have we all subscribed to that allows us all to exist and rely on one another to be around to complete the plans we have for our lives? It's really quite extensive--this Rube Goldberg device that the world--our world--is part of.
And I have a rather exorbitant oil bill for the house in Mattapoisett to pay sitting to the left of my right elbow. It almost knocked me on the ground when I saw how much a month of heating oil costs for a house I'm hardly ever at.
But you know what?
I am going to get up after I publish this post and write a check for it and hand it to the mailman when he brings my mail at 1 o'clock.
How cool is that?
I can think.
I can jump gently in the air and land on my flat feet.
I can listen to the classical music on the radio.
And I can go and have lunch.
And after that happens ... well ... everything on top of that is gravy.
I could go on and on forever.
But I'll stop here.
Thanks for reading.