[I actually wrote this last spring after my near near-death experience with the flu. But since another flu season will soon be upon us, perhaps this cautionary tale is timely after all. Its message is: Don’t fool around with the flu this year, particularly if you are of an age.]
I might have been a tad too glib when in the first installment of what clearly will be a terminal series having to do with my personal terminus, I observed that at least for me waiting to die was rather boring. [I was also too glib about writing off Tiger Woods; I guess I shoulda known better. O me of little faith…]
After this winter, I have had cause to change my mind. For a while there, I thought it might be more of a matter of life or death. I found myself thinking of the line Othello sings toward the end of Verdi’s opera as he contemplates his own death: “Ecco la fine del mio camin.” Colloquially, “This is the end of the line for me.”
You see, I was one of the millions who caught the flu bug or, rather, it caught me. And held me tight for a while in what seemed to be its death-like grip. It was really bad for a week or ten days there – it’s hard to remember how long. Even now, five weeks to the day after becoming sick, I am still hawking and spitting up gobs of sputum, and my voice now resembles that of your nearby frog. There were times when I considered whether the first piece I wrote in the series might well turn out to be my epitaph. And I admit there were moments, or...