When you least expect it. Death that is. I don't know about others but I often wonder how I will die and what it will be like. Will I know what's happening to me? Will it be agony? Will I be fighting it to the last? Will I passively accept it? Will the 'beginning of the end' start with a doctor or specialist saying to me, 'The results have come back and I'm afraid it's not good news...'
But there are a couple of other scenarios (is that the right term?) one of which is that you can, for instance, be walking along a road minding one's business when a meteor lands on you or you get hit by lightning. You'd certainly have no warning and for the individual it's probably the best way of 'shuffling off this mortal coil'. Probably.
However, there's a twist on the scenario to the one I have just described. Imagine that you have just walked out of a shop, happy with what you've purchased, looking forward to going home, optimistic about the future... and when you step onto the street there's a nutter with an assault rifle and he looks you in the eye and in that brief moment you know that you're going to die. What do you feel? What do you think? What do you do?
Again, who knows?
You're probably wondering now why I am writing this. Well, early Saturday afternoon I'd had to deliver some personal forms to a company I'm hoping to pick up some extra work from and after I'd done that I agreed to meet the missus and her sister in another town. Anyway, having dropped the letter in I decided that I would use the longer, less busy and more scenic route to get to town. So, I've got the sunroof open and my favourite station playing on the radio. It's a beautiful day - blue sky and sun shining. I'm appreciating the countryside passing by. I feel good. I feel optimistic. I'm looking forward to seeing the missus and having a nice relaxing afternoon. I get to a bend in the road and there's a black car (possibly a BMW) heading straight for me. I slam my brakes on and he just swerves out of my way, missing me by a couple of feet.
You fucking cunt, I think, you could have killed me.
He'd overtaken on a blind bend because he either didn't have the patience or he was some kind of speed freak. I'd only had the briefest glimpse of a dark haired young man but my immediate impression was rich parents and spoilt brat. I could be wrong.
As I had carried on I'd thought that I'd been lucky and had reflected upon what might have been. I also realised that I'd had no time to feel fear - my body had reacted instinctively. That said, I'd then imagined my missus sipping tea with my sister-in-law and wondering where I'd got to. Perhaps ringing my mobile for it to go to voicemail time after time. I saw her becoming gradually concerned and then finally panicking. I saw my son answering the door to a policeman...
But none of that happened. This time...