Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I Have a Rival

Every year, NPR would run a story during the summer about this man in the Park Service who would get hit by lightning bolts all the time. I tracked him closely because he was always ahead of me in this race to see who could survive messages from God. It comforted me to know he lived and coped with this. He did get hit outside, something I was careful to avoid. Nonetheless, like myself, he seemed to never be hurt much, just a little rearranged here and there, in the mind, the nerves.

One day, after I had been badly hit yet again, my husband turned on the radio in the morning. NPR announced a sad death. the Park Ranger was dead. Chris said, "Oh, that is sad". The radio announcer gave his final tally: seven direct hits. This is ahead of my tally. I felt sadness for this man who didn't know me. I wished he were alive, for obvious reasons.

Then came the hammer blow: he committed suicide.

His note said he was tired of being hit by lightning and wanted peace at last.

Chris turned to me. I was crying silently. "I'm sorry. Now he is gone." Chris looked closer. "You aren't going to do this too, are you?" he asked suspiciously.

"No," I said. "I am going to live. If I want to die, all I have to do is stop dodging lightning bolts".


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