January 20, 2015 10:07 AM
I woke up at 3am and my mind wouldn’t let me go—once again I’m back in Florida, feeling as if all the weight and responsibility of my parents’ well-being is on my shoulders. I did some quick calculations and realized that over the last seven years, these trips back to Florida have probably cost me three years of my expected life span—critical gas gauge of death dollars lost, not in expenses, but in lost consulting income.
Frustrated with the past and my current situation, I gave up trying to sleep at 6am and wasn’t surprised when I had to wait three minutes for traffic to clear long enough for me to cross the street.
I pulled into a Burger King for some breakfast and inside, I wasn’t surprised when the guy behind the counter didn’t see me and stood there staring at his phone.
I sighed, still angry, and stepped into the bathroom and exited with wet hands because the bathroom was out of paper towels (and no hand dryer).
The guy took my order, got it wrong and just nodded when I told him they were out of paper towels.
I sat down to eat, pulled out my phone to distract myself and couldn’t connect to their WiFi.
Frustrated and angry and wet, I stopped.
I looked up.
A sign on the wall said,
Cool Down With The King
And I saw myself keel over suddenly from a brain aneurism—face planting into my coffee.
And I saw my body roll off the chair and tumble to the floor as I detached and hovered above its lifeless form.
And the anger faded as I took responsibility for my situation: That each time I went back to Florida—each time I told my client I’d have to cut back dramatically on my coding work—I had chosen to do so. I had made the decision. I had made the conscious choice. I could have held off and let my brother take care of all those family emergencies, but I didn’t—I didn’t even give him the chance. I’m responsible for my fate.
The mind—what a pain in my ass.
I looked down at my lifeless ex-body and I shook free of the little game.
I sat there and I looked around and I took a photo of the sign and I realized I’m a walking dead man—that everyone is—and that thought, as morbid as it sounds, somehow released any residual tension.
Then I walked out into the parking lot and gave an impromptu tour of my van to an RV’er from Ohio and he took some photos of my rig and was thankful and grateful and I hopped in the van, and drove to a mechanic, and I asked for an oil change and wheel alignment, and everything flowed smoothly and easily and he gave me twenty bucks off for… I don’t really know what for, but I was grateful.
The less there is of me, the more there is of Her.