Tuesday, June 3, 2014

jack, you're dead

In hindsight, it was pretty funny.

I had a particularly busy day at work. While I do like to keep busy, today was especially relentless. It was a day filled with one close deadline after another. Although the time flew by, I was quite happy to see my desk clock approach five o'clock. I shut down my computer and headed to the elevators. I dragged myself to the train station and when my train arrived, I quickly found a seat and conked out. When we lurched into the Elkins Park station, I stomped down to the platform and took the short walk to my house. Once inside, I scrambled upstairs, kicked off my shoes, plopped down on the sofa and, once again, I was out like a light. I was tired. Dead tired.

While I was at work, Mrs. Pincus made a point to go and close our safe deposit box. We have maintained a safe deposit box for over twenty-five years and, frankly, I have no clue what "treasures" are in it. I think I've seen it once and my swipe card, allowing me access, snapped in half in the late 90s. Mrs. P was subjected to a lengthy ordeal involving paperwork, signatures, identification, checks and double-checks. Finally, she was granted permission to empty the 5" x 21" metal fortress of its contents, including birth certificates, insurance policies and the title to our house. It also secured an expired passport, a canceled bank book and a yellowed newspaper clipping of our engagement announcement. She gathered our precious belongings and drove home.

As per usual, our home security system chirped when Mrs. P unlocked and opened the front door. However, it was unusual that I did not greet her in the living room as she deposited her purse on a chair and shuffled through the day's mail.

"Josh?," she called.

No reply.

"Josh?," she called again, this time a bit louder.

Again, no reply.

Figuring that I was sequestered away on the third floor, probably hunched over my computer's keyboard, entering another rant into one of my silly blogs, Mrs. P slowly ascended the stairs. She took each step gently, almost tip-toeing.


Then, she thought I must have come home from work with a headache. Sure, I've done that many times and the best remedy is to stretch out on the bed and grab a quick, before-dinner nap. At the top of the stairs, Mrs. P craned her neck in the direction of our bedroom. Nothing. The bed was still crisply made and just as she had left it this morning. She took one more step, bringing her into the hallway. She saw me lying on the sofa. Quiet. Motionless.


No answer. I did not stir in the least.

"Josh? Josh?" The tiniest bit of panic tinged her words. She crept closer. She created the only movement in our otherwise quiet house. 

For a brief moment, Mrs. P thought I was dead.

"Josh?" She was now standing over me, looking for any sign of life.

My eyes fluttered open.

"Hi.," I sputtered.

Mrs. P exhaled in relief. "Are you okay?," she asked.

"Yeah," I smiled, adjusting eyes to the world of the awake, "I'm fine."

"I thought you were dead.," Mrs. P said, very matter-of-factly.

"Well, I'm not.," I assured her.

"And, ironically," she reported, "I emptied out the safe deposit box today."

"Better now than later, I guess. What's for dinner?," I said, as I got up and kissed my wife's forehead, once again proving that I was not dead.

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