I'm Overdrawn

It's been about 2 weeks and I'm still sick. I have a sore throat and a cough that has wrecked my voice. It has this wierd gravelly quality - in a matter of about an hour last night I went from Tone-Loc to Michael Wincott (the bad guy in "The Crow") to Tom Waits... to mute. There was a half-hour period where I could only manage a whisper accompanied by a choking, clicking sound. Cool, huh?

"Childhood's over the moment you know you're gonna die."
-Top Dollar, The Crow

I guess I had this coming. Regardless of who you are, you eventually start to write checks that your body can't cash, and my account is now in the red. For many years I lived hard and gave no real care to my body. I ate poorly, scarcely slept, played with swords and guns and motorcycles, chased women, ran from doctors, drank a lot, smoked up occasionally, and generally tried to insure that I didn't miss anything that might be fun. And by fun I mean dangerous and adrenaline-inducing. Despite all of that, I was one of those never sick, always lucky SOBs. I usually came out of my adventures none the worse for wear - and even if I was hurt or sick, I pretended I wasn't until it got better.

When I withdrew from that life to go back to school, I settled into an equally damaging pattern of deadline stress, little to no exercise, and truly bizare sleep habits. This lifestyle yields less bruises and fewer hangovers, but it takes its toll just the same.

Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle was credited with saying, "If I'd known I was going to live this long I'd have taken better care of myself." Indeed. I have never thought that I'd be long-lived, and neither did my friends. When I was 16, a close friend told me that he'd be surprised to see me make it to 30. Of course, his attitude might have been skewed by the fact that we were "bridge jumping" at the time (diving off of overpasses into the saltwater estuaries around Seal Beach - a dangerous, stupid, and highly illegal activity that we used to do regularly). I accepted that death sentence - my grandfather only made it to 46, so I figured that I'd be lucky to do the same.

Now that 46 is not so far away anymore, I am realizing that there is a lot that I'd still like to do before I go. I'm thinking I need an extension. I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and actually take care of myself.

My friends, the times they are a changing. Once this cold is kicked (I'm going to Student Health today), I'll be making some alterations. I will be eating out less, and ordering more carefully when I do. Two of my oldest friends, Jose Cuervo and Hope, won't be seeing me for a long while, and I'm going to try to build a better relationship with Morpheus (that's Sleep, not the guy from the Matrix). It probably won't make much difference to most of you, but I'll keep the Flock posted anyway - I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings if I turn down an invitation or two.

Don't worry, I'll be returning to my carousing, boozing, life-of-the-party ways - just as soon as R&D gets that cybernetic body built...


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