When I told the 20-something year-old kid that you’re never too old to stop learning and that I think about going for another degree or two he scoffed.
“Are you trying to relive your youth? You’re a little old for college.”
I laughed and told him I am an active learner and that curiosity drives me to get a deeper education in multiple areas. He made a snarky remark about my father being proud of me and I froze him in his tracks.
“My father is dead.”
I said it with a blank expression and made sure my eyes were flat.
He babbled a rough apology at me, I nodded and walked away so he couldn’t see my smirk.
Dad is dead, that is no secret to any of the regular readers and they’re probably not surprised to hear I wasn’t offended by the kid.
He wasn’t trying to offend me and I took advantage of an opportunity to show him older guys can still bring it.
What I didn’t know was that my pursuit for continuing my education would lead me down a road where I might have gotten to go hang with the old man before I am ready.
Would have been a case of sudden death though I tend to think most are…sudden.
I took the first dose around midnight and then a second around 8 A.M. the following morning and took a lab in a new field called “allergies you never knew about.”
A couple of hours later I paid a visit to my son the barista to get a cup of coffee and shrugged my shoulders when he said my face looked very red.
Fifteen minutes later I walked into the bathroom at the house and wondered why my face looked like I had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.
Figured it was probably an allergic reaction and spent the next ten minutes or so trying to figure out what could have done it.
Didn’t think I had been stung or bit by anything, hadn’t used different soap or shampoo and then realized I was kind of tired and decided to take a nap.
Hadn’t been up that long and thought it was kind of strange that I was feeling tired but shrugged my shoulders and said the beauty of a home office is catching a quick 15 minutes.
Woke up and waited for a bit to see if the swelling was going down and then determined it was continuing at which point I called the doc’s office and sent a note through the portal.”
“Dear Doc, my face doesn’t normally look like I have been beaten, I think it was the fancy drug you prescribed. Old Doc Google says this fits a side effect. Call me.”
Got a quick response from his office, “stop taking the pill and if you have additional trouble go to urgent care.”
And that is when things got fun, the doc I ended up visiting with asked me to confirm that I wasn’t having any trouble breathing.
“You need to throw those pills away, another might have dire consequences and by the way, are you sure you are not having trouble breathing? You’re trachea isn’t that big and we don’t want to have to take more serious action.”
I assured him I was good, he prescribed something for the allergy and warned me to pay close attention. “If anything changes I want you to go to the E.R. Don’t call, just go.”
Before our visit ended I asked him if he thought I looked that bad and he told me he had no idea what I normally look like and advised acting out of an abundance of caution.
I didn’t tell him that Grandpa Wilner told me when the grim reaper comes to visit he was going to punch him in the throat or that I had my own plans for the Angel Of Death.
For the next twenty minutes I wondered if my breathing was slightly off, looked upwards and said “Dad, if you’re really in a position to hear me I expect you and Grandpa to watch my back. I have got things to do.”
Can’t say it was followed by a clap of thunder, lightning strike, rainbow or any sort of sign I would recognize. Shrugged my shoulders and decided that if my face was still as big as a pumpkin I wouldn’t be doing any work for a while.
Figured I ought to think of a song that would be appropriate for the moment and opted for something by Dire Straits.
Well I tried to be meek
I have tried to be mild
But I spat like a woman
And I sulked like a child
I have lived behind walls
That have made me alone
Striven for peace
Which I never have known
And I can still hear his laughter
And I can still hear his song
The man’s too big
The man’s too strong
Got a million memories of walking through Jerusalem while that and a few other songs played. Thought about the lyrics to Brothers In Arms and decided that whenever I do go it would be nice if someone wanted to use that Auden quote from above.
I’d tell them it is mostly right and partially wrong.
The swelling appears to have receded and things are heading the right direction but I’ll do as asked and pay attention.
Sometimes you don’t intentionally call down the thunder but get the lightning clap anyway. I expect to wake up in the morning and to go about my life in the usual manner.
And though I have no concern about not waking up or any sort of other big surprise I’ll share a thought I have written about here before.
The people I love know I do and if they don’t it is either because they weren’t listening/paying attention or I did a lousy job of communicating it.
It is probably not the latter, I am adept at getting my point across when I want to.
Been an interesting day, hope I get boring and regular tomorrow and the next day too.