i know how it feels like when you die.
all the karma-shit-eaters should try it at least once, before jabbering about how it doesn’t matter and how you already did it 1000 times but you don’t remember it. perhaps it’s ok if you have the luck of a sudden death, in a crash, or while you sleep, or in any other way that doesn’t leave you the time to think ‘fuck, i’m gonna die’. otherwise, dying is a huge pain for both body and mind.
a couple of days ago, i woke up in early the morning, and after a few quiet minutes of laying back and allowing my brain to turn on, it started. the ugliest cough ever, with the lungs drowning in their own fluids, and unable to spit it out. i couldn’t stop, but neither could i expectorate the bloody stuff; i was airless, voiceless, full of tears and drooling and my nose running and no. no, i didn’t have a vision of my whole life in a second, ‘the’ light tunnel, crap like that.
instead, while i was struggling to make it work or make it stop, and while i couldn’t help alternating these equally painful tendencies every 20 seconds or so, i had a clear thought: there are high chances that i will, someday, actually die this way. struggling to breath between two violent outbursts that would empty not just my chest, but my whole vital force. or having a heart attack or an artery exploding in my brain because of the unimaginable strain.
i had this thought because i am a heavy smoker. and i imagine that the terminal phase of some smoke-related chronic lungs disease – yea, yea, cancer, like you can’t have any type of cancer without ever smoking – i say, that terminal phase must be really horrendous.
but that morning torture had nothing to do with smoking. it was just a bad flu or another type of season virus. how do i know it? because it happened after a couple of days of fever, and normal day-time cough and nose blowing. because it had already happened before, maybe 5 or 6 of times in my life, though never that bad. and because 99% of time i DO smoke, but i have absolutely no coughing problem – short wind, yes, all the time, and occasional ‘dollars’ spitting into the sink – you know, the greenish stuff that comes from the top of the throat (i can be disgusting, too, like those who constantly preach and menace with the ‘cancer, cancer’ litany). but killer morning cough with no other cause than smoking, never.
the most amazing thing is that, every time, when i finally managed to stop coughing for 10 seconds and catch a little air, the one and only thing that put an end to the crisis and allowed me returning to normal heartbeat and breathing rhythm was the first puff of filtered cigarette smoke.