Somewhere there’s a black cat I owe an expensive sushi dinner to.
I’m exhausted, trying to focus through two drooping eyelids with a giant coffee and a tiny girl resting motionless to my right.
I’m surrounded by an ominous abyss of darkness. The only thing keeping me awake is the fearful mirage of a thousand nefarious roadside eyeballs smoldering dimly in my mind. I’m fading fast..
and then it happens.
A black cat bolts from the left, intersecting my path and missing my front tire by a tail at best.
Jolted awake I’m immediately consumed with irrational superstitious fear. “Fuck!” I think. “How long does a black cat curse last anyway?”
Headlights appear in the distance. I turn my brights off. I’m on a flat stretch now. It’s straight as can be…
and then it happens.
The oncoming truck crosses the center line, veering into my lane without warning. I yank the wheel hard right and pass safely into the night with my passenger still sleeping blissfully beside me, unaware of her near fatal encounter.
Heart pounding, I drive on contemplating how many other black cats have crossed my path…
I woke up in Intensive Care three years ago unsure of how I’d gotten there. I remembered the gigantic pot brownie sundae I’d eaten, but little else.
Apparently my best friends had come by, scooped my naked body from my urine soaked bed and delivered me to the hospital. I’d had multiple seizures and I was in rough shape.
Sedated, I laid unconscious for two days.
I felt uneasy about leaving the hospital the following day. Embarrassed, I shyly admitted to being afraid of sleeping alone that night. I’d grown up with seizures and they had always come in my sleep, so I felt I had reason to worry.
I slept on a friend’s couch for a few nights before mustering the courage to return home to sleep alone. It’s the first time I ever felt fragile, like a fractured glider struggling to hold steady in a gentle breeze…
and then it happened.
Grateful to be alive I began waking each morning to a thankful mental mantra filling the corridors of my mind.
I started partying less and living more, dreaming less and accomplishing more. My false sense of security had been shattered and I was now living life with urgency.
We are surrounded by blessings and curses everyday, never knowing friend from foe. The lover who dumps you, the teacher who fails you, the illness that plagues you, the decision that torments you, the airline that screws you, the buddy who turns on you…
could all be your black cat.
Epilepsy has turned out to be a blessing for me. By accepting my greatest weakness I’ve gained a far more powerful ally.
Perhaps there’s a black cat somewhere patiently awaiting your invitation to sushi…?