The “Deathbed Test” Will Change Your Life in 5 Minutes or Less
The “Deathbed Test” Will Change Your Life in 5 Minutes or Less by Chris Campbell – LFB.org
“He doesn’t have much longer,” I heard the doctor whisper to my wife outside the room. “Anyone who wants to say goodbye should do it now.”
My eyes were closed. The blanket draped over my limp body was coarse and scratchy but I left it alone to be with my thoughts. I was reflecting on all the things I’d done and left undone. I thought about how stupid I was as a kid. And all the stupid kids I hung out with.
I thought about the time we threw water balloons at the bicyclers on the bike path. And I thought about that red-faced guy who chased us down, screaming and growling like a wild ape. I remembered how I caught a glimpse of the big huge veins bulging out of his neck and got scared he was going to kill us and ran faster. And I thought about how we probably deserved to get caught but we all got away anyway because we knew about that old clothesline in Mrs. Robinson’s yard and he didn’t see it coming.
I thought about the fishing wire. Oh, lord! The fishing wire! What a little bastard I was. And then I thought about the first time I was put into handcuffs and that other time I threw a pizza box in that old guy’s car in the Target parking lot and scared the crap out of him. Gosh. Maybe even literally.
Now, in what seemed like a flash, I was that old guy, complaining and carrying on about those idiot degenerate kids and their damn pizza boxes and worrying about my own somewhat incontinent bowels and wondering what the hell the world is coming to. Wow. Time flies.
And then I thought about how I finally grew up and got a little wiser. I started writing all the time, consumed by books and big ideas and grand visions of a better future. And I thought about how some of those visions eventually came true and the parts that came true were good and true enough for me.
I listened as people slowly filled the room. They didn’t say anything. Just a few scattered sniffles and whimpers. I could tell exactly who was doing the sniffling and whimpering and where they were standing. I started to smile at the thought of how pitiful they must’ve looked. But before I could let myself enjoy a cackle or two I got self-conscious of how terrible I must’ve looked. Like a weak bag of bones. Like a rotting, dying old man. That newfangled breathing machine must’ve been a sight to behold for the little ones. It scared me, too.
I noticed how strained my breath sounded. My mouth was dry and tasted of copper. The hospital room smelled clean and sterile, but there was an intuitive stench of decay. I wondered if anyone else could smell it. Maybe it was just me. What if only the dying smell it, I thought. Maybe this is what it always smells like when Death comes to take what’s finally his.