It takes approximately 15 to 20 extra strength Tylenol in one gulp to seriously damage my liver, that’s less than I thought; I was thinking, maybe, a full bottle. There is also a drug that is administered to people who have managed to ingest too much antifreeze that costs 1500 dollars a pop. It binds itself to the antifreeze molecules…or something like that and makes sure the antifreeze gets washed out and doesn’t get absorbed into the body. Also, you don’t fall asleep with an over dose of Tylenol, you are awake and buzzed. The problem happens later, a day or so when the damage to the liver becomes evident and the body starts to shut down. Bruising happens easily and I’m sure, many other things.
I am listening to Joan tell me these things, I just met her, she is replacing me on a cleaning job. I am fascinated by her work experience, her wealth of knowledge as a helicopter paramedic up north, surprised, as she is, that she managed to surpass the burn out rate of the job by thirteen years.
Of course I can’t help but ask, what’s it like to have someone die on you? As usual, I am on my quest to find an ounce of spiritual existence that is purely my own, not something attached to an organized group, stamped and routinely followed without question for the last couple of centuries, but something drawn from death itself and experienced firsthand by those that are there to experience it second hand, then live to talk about it. My inquiry led Joan to an experience she had with a woman she was transporting from Sioux Lookout to Kingston, Ontario. This woman had a lung condition which robbed her of a certain amount of elasticity to aid her in normal breathing. She was in Sioux Lookout visiting and did not bring her medication with her. She was on the list for a lung and heart transplant and was running out of time. Her medication was the only thing keeping her alive and without it she would suffer a rapid decline. Two hours into the flight, her skin color now a dark blue, she requested to be elevated so she could see out the window. She knew she was about to die, Joan said. Joan cradled her head in the curve of her neck supporting her so she could get a good view and felt the woman die moments later, or, go limp as she put it. What did you feel? I asked, she said…sad.
A good answer, but not what I was looking for. I want to hear reports of some kind of spiritual exit, something noticeable, something that tells the observer that that they are going but they are not gone, not forever. Permanence for me is the issue, endings don’t exist in my mind, they can’t, it is impossible. For me, moving on in any form or situation is as inevitable as death itself, it seems so obvious that nothing ends, so really, what I am looking for isn’t proof of life after death, but why and how is it so hard to figure out.
I have had my share of religion hopping, but it’s like believing in Santa, eventually you think, come on, really…flying reindeer…water into wine? I am a firm believer in the idea that not all fiction needs fact to be true but there are some things that are so obviously wrong. Religion for the most part, is one of those things. I even dipped my toe into the calm waters of Buddhism, until I recently learned the Deli Lama came out against homosexuality, I thought, this from a man who wears a dress? That was the last straw, I closed the door on any possibility of any organized religion having a molecule of common sense, not that it’s that common.
I have also thought that maybe there is a place in our brain that prevents us from truly understand what happens after death. Truly understanding the complexity of the soul, its frequency, its purpose and mobility. Since, from looking around, man tends to really fuck things up. God knows….and apparently he’s not telling us, what man would do with such power. Since, I believe that our purpose here is to move on, I also believe that right now, living, we are really just moving through another gestation period, I don’t really want the human race to get its greedy little paws on information that could eventually screw us all.
So, I guess not knowing is good enough, for now, for me, since thinking about this gives me a headache.
I think I’ll take an extra strength Tylenol, but just one, for now.