Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Near Death Experience

I had a near death experience (NDE) the other night—actually, truth be told, I had back-to-back NDEs. I’ll relate them to you. Since I’m approaching middle-age (yes, I fully expect to live to 96!) there are occasions where I have to wake up and use the restroom in the middle of the night. The TV tells me that it’s because my prostrate is growing but I think it’s because I drank too much water right before bed.

So, the other night I woke up at about 3:00 a.m. and realized I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep without emptying the bladder (so to speak). Wearily, I slither out of bed, careful to not wake sleeping beauty (Honey, it’s my story and I’ll tell it the way I want to. I do not use the bed as a trampoline.) Usually in a NDE there is a bright light but in this case I left the light off.

After taking care of business I flushed our balky toilet which does not always completely empty. At 3:00 a.m. I’m not always very alert but something caught my attention. The water in the bowl seemed especially dark. Now since I hadn’t consumed anything weird, I flicked on the light to examine the turbid commode water. This is when the first NDE occurred.

As the last of the water went down the hole I noticed it was bright red. I was dying. My whole life passed before my eyes. I wanted to start calling people I’d offended and apologize. (After 8:00 a.m. of course.) I wondered where I’d want my remains to be interred.

The fear-induced adrenaline rush sharpened my mind and I began to analyze my symptoms—there weren’t any. I felt great. No pain, no burning. Everything seemed fine. As I carefully climbed back into bed without so much as depressing a bed-spring, I started searching for another reason. Crayons? No, Dan is past that. Rust? No, too red.

As I searched for a cause it dawned on me that maybe it was my wife’s fault. No, I didn’t think she was trying to kill me or anything, I just wondered if perhaps something in an incompletely emptied bowl may have alarmed me when I discovered it at 3:00 a.m.

I couldn’t go back to seep without knowing for sure I wasn’t dying, so I decided to wake her up and ask.

There are two types of people—morning people and not morning people. The spouse falls squarely into the “not morning people” category. But this was urgent. I had to get back to sleep.

With all the tact and skill of Prince Charming I carefully nudged her. When that failed to produce the desired result I resorted to bouncing on the bed—that worked. Adrenaline hit her like a cup of ice water. “What, what is it?” she asked, now fully awake. “I was just wondering if perhaps it was “that time of the month” for you. Is it?” I said.

“Yes” she answered. Like liquid from a water balloon, the tension and fear left my body. My fears assuaged I quickly started to go back to sleep. “You woke me up to ask me that?” She said. “Yes, I thought I was dying, but I’m OK now. Go back to sleep.” I replied.

That is when the second NDE occurred. . .

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