"That's high, isn't it?" I ask my exotically sexy foreign health-care consultant, also known as my wife. (Because it's mentally very healthy for me to fantasize, I'm currently pretending that she is not, in fact, my actual American wife, but rather a Sri Lankan nurse who happened to be sunning on the beach after I washed ashore, directly pursuant to a particularly unfortunate encounter with a sea urchin. No, scratch that, not daring enough. Barracudas? Nope, it would have to be a very slow school not to have caught and finished me. Moray eel? Yeah, that works for me...)
Anyway, I already knew the answer, being a presumptive bastard by nature, and also being able to clearly see her face as she read the meter. After all, only 5% of actual communications are verbal, the balance, they say, is in the eyes of the beholder. They also say (the ubiquitous 'they', the 'they' of the inestimably cumuluative wisdom of 5000+ years on this fine planet) that a reading over 140 is too high for a normal human within two hours of dining. My minor quibbles with their definition of 'normal human' aside, I'll go ahead and defer. It's probably too high, and my recent unnatural cravings for Krispy Kreme donuts, followed shortly by previously unheard of, and seemingly irresistable urges for spontaneous naps have convinced me that something is amiss.
Son-of-a-fucking-BITCH! I mean, naps, for Christ's sweet sake? FUCKING NAPS? I've never willingly napped in my entire goddamn, caffeine-infused, ADHD-driven life! A total waste of fucking time, naps are. Time enough to slumber during the great dirt-nap that lurks at the end of this pitted, gravel-strewn road, right?
Unfortunately, denial is a luxury best suited to the biologically young. Those of us who are only young-at-heart can ill afford it. And, I have to admit, I saw it coming. Not exactly it per se, but something was bound to come. Here's a short-list of my luck so far, and why it was bound to run out sooner or later.
Not that remarkable at first glance, but I'm first generation on my dad's side and second on my mom's. If you do the statistics, and try to estimate the probability that the Carrolls of Kilkenny County would emigrate from Ireland around 1900, and that my father would show up in lower Manhattan some 50 years later and somehow manage to shag my mom, the most lenient odds still lie around a crazy-ass shot in the dark.
My Mom was on birth-control
Mid-sixties birth-control, to be sure, but still, the numbers are compelling, well over 90% against. So, the sperm that seeded me didn't necessarily have an 'S' on its chest, but, at the least, it had a bat logo. (And by bat, I mean like Christian Bale Batman, not Adam West or Michael Keaton or some other pussy like that. Better yet, strike the bat sperm, it was a skull logo, like the Punisher. Yeah, that's it, but not the Dolph Lundgren Punisher, more like the... uh...FUCK IT! Let's just say it was something menacing and badass, you get the drift...)
I stopped breathing when I was 11 months old
A congenital inguinal hernia caused my diaphram to prolapse and my lungs could no longer draw air and so I began to expire. (Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup, they slither while they pass and make their way across the universe...")
I stopped breathing again when I was 19 moths old.
Same hernia, different side of the body. (Obviously, Mexican and Irish-folk were never meant to breed, nature had selected against us like so many other random jackasses, and she was very LOUDLY voicing her displeasure at this point.)
At 24 months, I fell ass-over-appetite down the basement stairs onto solid concrete and fractured my skull.
Either my old Irish Ma had the mother of all Munchausen syndromes, or someone was trying to tell me something!
Any which way, you get my drift, and I could go on and on. I've fallen out of a car going 45 MPH, hit pavement, and survived with a mild concussion. I've had the back of my throat perforated by a broken stick and got away with about a dozen stiches. I've actually been stabbed in the right eye with a sharpened No. 2 pencil, but it came in low and more-or-less just wedged my eyeball up and out of the way, and so the net damage was nothing more than a punctured lower eyelid.
And in between all the various injuries, I've managed to constantly smoke like a fish and drink like a whore.
[wonka] Strike that. Reverse it. [/wonka]
At any rate, you and I both know that luck is a delusion, and we all know that no one is really bulletproof, except for maybe Bruce Willis in either the DIE-HARDs or UNBREAKABLE. And actually, now that I think about it, PULP FICTION as well. Christ, can that guy even be touched? Is there any movie where he gets killed or even gets his ass severely kicked? Is there anyway we can get him and Patrick Swayse into the same movie just to see what happens? (Point Break might actually have been watchable if Katherine Bigelow had thought of this first.)
But still, random luck aside, which we all know doesn't exist, it's been a such a good run that it's very hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that I am very likely diabetic and will suddenly have to monitor everything I do in order to merely stay alive. It's particularly troubling considering the fact that I've done exactly nothing other than being really fucking lucky up to this point. (Case in point, my current blood pressure is 120/80 on the nose, cholesterol is non-existent despite the fact that I eat Arby's twice a week, and my prostate, according to my doctor, is perfectly sized and there are no polyps in my colon.) True, he insists on checking it every Friday night, which seems a bit frequent to me, but he gives me clean bills of health so who am I to argue?
Nope, my only true afflictions are my blood sugar, which seems to indicate adult-onset diabetes, and my freakishly large penis, which seems to indicate heretofore unexplored career possibilites.
All we can do is play the cards we're dealt, and we have only ourselves to blame if we play them poorly.
Maybe it's you, maybe it's Dan. Things aren't quite the way they should be. And now it seems Dan's peace of mind has come up for the bidding, and those that he respects and trusts must all have been just kidding. Dan's little world has lost control, but still it keeps on spinnin'...
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2.14.08 @ 6:06p
Watch Planet Terror. Willis gets blown up.
By all means, I've been hella lucky. I almost chocked to death when I was barely 2 days old. I don't get sick and I've never broken a bone. After 20 something years of eating too much spicy and sour stuff, my appendix is still there.
I think it's the beaner inside us that makes us stronger.
2.14.08 @ 10:16p
I dunno, I vote for the Irish. I've been dead-to-mostly-dead a buncha times, and keep coming back.
Even the eye thing...same as Gonzo, but with a tree branch instead of a pencil. I've eaten toxic chemicals enough that I should have superpowers by now, but do I catch that break? Not a chance.
I'll express my gratitude for simply continuing to breathe. Meanwhile you can call me Ron Stoppable.
2.15.08 @ 12:04p
Funny that it is the "boys" (so far) who report having suffered all of these injuries. We girls get hurt, but it runs more to skinned knees and bruises. Unless, of course, we are tomboy dare devils as kids. In my family, the boys made far more visits to the ER than us girls. My sister was fed ant poison at age 1 by one of my brothers; she rode to the hospital in a police car, because the police station was closer to home than the hospital. I had my finger smashed when the same brother dropped a large rock on it. Nonetheless, the 4 of us managed to survive things my daughter certainly would not let my granddaughter do. We've wrapped our kids these days in cotton wool. I wrote a column (Sacrificing Fitness for Safety ) sometime ago about this subject.
2.29.08 @ 5:38p
This tomboy got thrown off dozens of dangerous horses, got tackled in lots of neighborhood football games, slid both feet and head first stealing second base and never broke anything. Then, running to the lunchroom one day broke her fracking ankle. How uncool is that?
3.1.08 @ 2:13p
I was the biggest "girlie girl" growing up but that still didn't stop me from being the biggest klutz on earth.
Let's see if ya'll can top this one. I tripped and fell cutting my forehead open at the age of 6 requiring 11 stiches, and a year later I was pushed from behind (first fall out with first "boyfriend") and that one required 22 stiches to the same spot.
3.2.08 @ 4:47p
I can't personally, Beth, but I have a friend who broke her own nose putting her bra on.
3.5.08 @ 12:28a
This is uncanny.
I once broke a chick's nose trying to take her bra OFF.
I guess that makes us spirit-warrior-sisters.
3.5.08 @ 12:57a
I heard that chick broke YOUR nose.
3.5.08 @ 12:44p
Actually, to be honest, I still am a world-class klutz. I ran into a tree when I was finally brave enough to ride my two-wheeler around the block. I also had a more recent accident (5 years ago) trying to do some household renovation; I'm under orders from my daughter to hire someone to do any further fix-it work. Of course, it would be like me to trip over the handyman or his tools.