5/365: Call Me Ishmael

January 5

Call Me Ishmael

Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

“I’d never given much thought to how I would die – though I’d had reason enough in the last few months – but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.”

-Bella Swan, Twilight

She stared in the mirror. By the time her mother was 50, she’d had two heart attacks. All of her other grandparents had died of heart issues, except Jane. She live until around 98, at which point she was senile.

At her age, she wasn’t sure which path she would end up on. With her luck, she’d be on the painful, cardiovascular death side of things or she’d live until she was 98. Either way she was screwed.

There is a huge crisis in China and other  Eastern nations where the young used to care for the old, but they no longer do. Children would anticipate taking care of their elders. It was customary. However, there has been a shift in the world–something sort of self-serving, where the kids no longer feel they should have to do such a thing.

She was sort of on that cusp. She spent the first 20 years of her life under her mother’s thumb, only to tumble into relationships that basically served someone else. She felt that most of her days were spent in servitude. At what point would her life become her own? At the same time, her child was in the same cycle, and she knew it would be a matter of time before he told her to kiss off. Because, in reality, that’s what she wanted to tell everyone else who was expecting something from her. But in reality, she would never do such a thing.

Interestingly enough, her mother suffered the two heart attacks, but it was an ugly bout of lung cancer that killed her. She visited as often as she could to help her, but looking back, her efforts were lame. How do you save someone who is dying from cancer?

She remembered reading a story in Sports Illustrated ages ago about some athlete who was such an alcoholic that at one point, she bled out and almost died. She couldn’t imagine the horror of blood pouring out freely from various openings in the body because of poor choices that had been made. Could you imagine?

Ultimately, it’s the choices you make that land you in the place you where you end. For the ending to her story, she hoped she would die a quiet death, late in her life, that, because she was perfectly healthy, was quick, swift, and to the point. Her history pointed to something other. She really hoped she was wrong.

Maybe she would find herself being held hostage in a dance studio, being bitten by a vampire, only to be saved by another vampire. Indeed, at times, such sparkly things  do exist.


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