The Six-Hundred and Eighty-Four Cents (After Taxes) Bionic Man

six-million-dollar-manSpent the morning plugged into a treadmill at Kaiser in an effort to find out why I haven’t been breathing like my old self. Electrodes and wires dangling everywhere. Have they made bionic lungs yet? Are they covered? Will people make fun of my now-patchy chest hair?

While not breathing, I started thinking about stress, which, you know, kind of defeats the purpose. Thinking about stress convinced me that I was suffering a heart attack on Saturday.

“Do you want me to take you to the ER?” asked the Fireplug.

I paused from checking my pulse for the seventh time and whispered, weakly, “Let’s finish this episode of Southland first.”

I crossed a sort of threshold over the weekend, where I stopped looking at stress as a modern badge of honor. I suppose not breathing will convince anyone to entertain the ludicrous idea of slowing down.

When anyone asks me what I’m going to write next, after this family memoir that’s swallowed nine years of my life, after PTSD and therapy and suicidal ideations, I joke that I want to write fiction so that I can just make shit up.

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