At some point in my early adult life things were stagnant. I went to work everyday, lived with my parents at home and every once in a while I would go out with friends – usually for a trip to the cinema.
There was no relationship, no ambition, nothing except a savings account that got bigger because I never did much but work.
And then the cat I had since childhood, Tigger died.
It really devastated me and at the time I used to write a lot of poetry. So I wrote an angsty poem about it.
Someone at work asked if the day after he died if I was getting a new one. Its a strange thing to say, I mean if someones Grandma died, you would say “Are you getting a new one” (perhaps if that was an option, we could pop to a nursing home and choose an available one… anyway going of topic).
If you have ever had a pet you will probably understand some of the devastation I felt. It was only 10 years that he was part of my life and Tigger could be a miserable little shit who would randomly scratch you, despite enjoying being stroked a minute earlier.
But he was a comfort, especially during difficult school years and when I felt lonely.
In many ways I thought I wanted to die.
Less than a month later I nearly got my wish. It was a stupid accident at work that should never have happened – I narrowly avoided being crushed by a cage in the stock room, but the impact when it fell over had smashed my face and I was bleeding everywhere.
The First Aider endeavored to try their best at trying to take my mind off the fact that a pint of my blood had spilt all over the floor from the stock room to the disabled toilets, where he continued to try and mop it up.
I thought I was going to die.
But I realised how much I wanted to live.
There was so many things I wanted to do. It couldn’t end like this.
I woke up in the hospital and badly needed to pee. Exhausted I limped across to the gents toilets. It was there I saw my face taped up in the mirror. I looked at all the lacerations on my face and began to cry.
The next day as I waited for my surgery to stitch up my face I found my appetite was returning.
The hospital menu was unappealing.
I have been to six wedding in the past couple of years and despite eating some fancy expensive food I couldn’t tell you what I ate.
But I could tell you that I had sweet and sour chicken with rice in the hospital.
The chicken tasted like it had marinated in its own juices for too long and had become spongy and soggy.
The rice was plastic tasting and had obviously been heated in the microwave.
But it was the best meal that I ever ate. And I savoured every bite.
Perhaps it was a coincidence but four months later I went to Canada.
The next year in Autumn I went to new York and saw New England in the fall.
The year after that I went down the west coast of North America.
A month later I finally made a decision, took a risk and went to University.
For the first time since leaving school I felt I had a future again.
Perhaps it took a near death experience to start living. Or perhaps it was just a coincidence.