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I Am Not Morbid
It’s happening again.
My eyes open and I sit up straight in my bed, my legs tangled in a sea of blankets of pillows. The iHome above my head emits a strange blue light that that gives the room an eerie glow.
I feel it again. I bring my left hand up to my left cheek, right below my eye. The tingling sensation has resumed. It feels like a tiny army of ants is scurrying beneath my skin.
This is the fourth time this has happened this week. It began last Saturday, when Ritwik and I were throwing around a football in the driveway.
“Throw it hard, throw it hard,” Ritwik called. Like all other sports, football is pretty low on the lists of things I enjoy. I think it’s tied with “getting all four wisdom teeth pulled at once.” Naturally, I wasn’t really into the game. My throws were half hearted and weak. My brother would glare every time the ball fell several feet in front of me.
“Throw it to me,” he reminded.
I felt sorry for him. My lack of upper arm strength and enthusiasm did not make for an ideal playmate. I threw the ball again. It landed in a bush that was growing far off to the right.
“The bush is not playing,” Ritwik whined, “I am.”
Now usually I would be apologetic. I might even stretch out my shoulder and muster up some effort. On this day, however, I was missing the season finale of Lost (my mother had made me come outside to, in her words “enjoy being a big sister”) so none of that was going to happen.
I gazed up at the sky and wondered if the clouds that were hovering over me had hovered over Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly as they filmed in Hawaii. The white balls of puff moved slowly across the sky and as I leaned further back to see from which direction they were blowing from, sunlight caked my forehead, my ponytail hung in the breeze, slowly I spread my hands outwards…
It had happened so fast that for a minute I did not what had happened. I was on the ground, my legs sprawled out beneath me, Ritwik’s football a few inches away from my head. I felt something warm ooze beneath my left eye. I reached up to feel it…blood. Gasping, I sat up. Ritwik was crying.
“I killed her! I killed her! I killed her!” he wailed so loudly my mom came rushing outside.
That was five days ago. An ugly bruise beneath my eye is the only reminder I have of that day; that and the sporadic twitching. The twitching comes every so often and at first I thought nothing of it. It felt like a hummingbird beating its wings rapidly against my cheek. The twitching has become more frequent and it felt like the hummingbird has been replaced by a vicious hornet.
The hummingbird was easy to ignore, whenever I felt it I’d idly itch the area and it would go away in a few seconds. The hornet, however, was a different story. The little pest had built a hive under my eye, and soon it was living with its wife and three thousand kids. I’m sure they made a wonderful family. I just wished they made it elsewhere.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t ignore the hornets and every time one of their kids acted up my stomach would drop in despair. With each twitch, a fear swept over me like a tide dangerously encroaching the shore. I was forced to acknowledge that sooner or later the water would crash over me.
The twitching was an indication of the impending flood. I had an incurable disease and as I thought more and more of it, I began to see symptoms everywhere.
The spasms in my upper shoulder were the result of a malignant tumor.
The pins and needles in my right foot were because of a weakened heart that could not adequately pump blood throughout my body.
I couldn’t use a cell phone without thinking about the radiation that was being emitted into my ear. I went on PubMed and looked up ear cancer.
I feared my laptop, worrying that the hours I spent with it on my lap would result in uncontrollable cell growth on my thighs.
Tonight, as I lie in bed I think of all the things that I haven’t done in my 17 years of life. I think of my twentieth birthday, my thirtieth, my fortieth, my fiftieth, my sixtieth, my…I can’t go on.
“What will it feel like?” I wonder. Will I be aware of my final moments? Will it be in the morning, evening? I don’t know why I’m thinking this, why I’m adding fuel to the fire. But I am and as I do my heart beat quickens and I’m afraid that it will burst.
I get out of bed and walk quietly downstairs. I turn the TV on in the family room. A commercial for L’Oreal is playing. I watch the models apply mascara and prance around with their extra long, deep definition eye lashes. I feel better immediately.
I am not alone. They too will get spasms and twitches and flutters. I am not the only one under water. It will happen to the greatest of us. It has happened to the greatest of us.
And that’s okay with me.