I listen to my german shepherd snore as I lay face up on the bed staring at the ceiling. Cold season (isn’t that every season in rural towns?) has hit me hard leaving my voice to nothing but a whisper. The tv is on but somehow the snore trumps the fast paced, endless conversation at my feet. I switch to watching my little, old poodle’s chest rise and fall with his sleepy breathes. I imagine what it would be like to see him die, the breath stopping as I watch, so I stare even more intently.
It’s a disease; not the sore throat and stuffy head that’s keeping me in bed all day, but the constant infatuation with death and the realization that it could happen at any second. When I hit my thirties and realized that the open book was slowly closing shut I started thinking about the end a little more every single day. This being the third day in a row with a hoarse to non exsistant voice I start to go through the list of all of the people I know (or heard of in this small rural town) that were fine one moment, fell ill the next with a common ailment, and then died.
It’s morbid I know (and I don’t mean the sore throat) but the silver lining is that realizing life is short makes me cherish every moment. I imagine this is what being on the verge of death feels like (and I imagine that moment a lot). Those last fleeting breaths are something I don’t want to feel for a very, very long time to come so focusing on the silver lining keeps me in check. Or maybe it makes me think of death more, but either way I am living life to the fullest. Even as I lay here voiceless, watching my elderly dogs take what could be their very last breaths.