Two weeks ago I attended the closing night of the Mekong Restaurant.
I drank gin-tonics non-stop.
I stayed out late.
My friends I partyed like a rock star.
Two days later I fell ill with a wicked flu.
I was wracked by coughing. My body convulsed with tremors. Sweat pored from my skin. My diet was reduced to tea and toast.
And that was only the beginning.
I kept working on a house off Greenwich's Round Kill Road.
Heavy labor and my partner Alaska asked, "Wouldn't you be better off in bed?"
"Probably, but I'm feeding my family."
"A man of his people."
That weekend we worked the weekend dissembled wooden crates for an artist.
On Sunday night my temperature soared to 103 and I bolted up in bed to cough and cough and cough. It wasn't stopping. No oxygen was getting to my lungs. I was losing consciousness and suddenly thought my might be it.
My last breath.
I fought against the cough.
It wasn't giving up.
Neither was I, but I also realized that if this was death, I was scared.
Not at all.
Death let go.
It wasn't my time.
I lay back in bed and went to sleep.
The sleep of the living.