Last evening, for an hour or so to anyone unfortunate enough to notice me but a million years from my own perspective, I glared at my phone and I waited to die. It may have seemed that I did other things during that time - I appeared to chain-smoke and breathe and blink my eyes and all sorts of other mundane things - but those were mere illusions. Reflexive and involuntary actions, and nothing more. Nothing mattered to me except my phone, and the fact that it was silent.
My phone was going to ring, see. Actually, it was going to woo-hoo if you really need to know that small detail. My phone was going to woo-hoo, and then I was going to answer it. And then I was going to listen for a few seconds. And then I was going to say four words, assuming that I'd be able to speak at all, and then I was going to die.
I found myself wondering what my next reincarnation would be, what the next version of Dave would be like. The last one, the current version of myself, had gone on a fairly decent run. Decent, but not good, and certainly not great. The old saying is that nice guys finish last, and while I may not have been bringing up the absolute rear, sometimes second place is just as bad. Sometimes second place is the worst thing that could ever happen. Like when you've dedicated your entire life to a single race.
It was a false alarm. My phone made its woo-hoo sound, and I saw that it was a text message, and I sighed with relief. My death would not, I knew, be delivered via such an impersonal conduit, it would have come via voice. I've earned that much, I'm sure.
So, I'm still here. For now.