Danger calls - Writings of the Week
Don't call me crazy unless you're my friend
For as long as I can remember I’ve been driven to the edge for reasons unknown. The other week I was in a near car crash. For a split second I was excited and thought things were finally going my way, only to miss the opportunity to see the pearly gates of heaven.
When I told my doctor about it he asked, 'How long have you felt this way?'
'Oh, only the best part of twenty years,' I said.
He seemed amused by my response and let out a chuckle. I quite like going to the doctors, not because they ever solve my problems but because I’m attracted to their professional air of authority, which makes them seem pretty damn hot and another reason for me to flirt with danger. But hey, that’s a different story.
There was one night when I was seventeen and with my boyfriend at the time. We had an 'in joke' about a girlfriend who jumped out of the window. So feeling reckless, immortal, craving thrills and excitement, I climbed over the windowsill of my second story apartment and was dangling outside. I was laughing and he was laughing harder, believing that I must have been standing on a concealed ledge, therefore refusing to pull me back up. The game of truth or dare paled when my nervous pleas for help turned into panicked desperation and he finally pulled me back up, albeit by my knickers. For a guy who was unafraid of anything or anyone, he was a tad spooked on realising how my dark humour had almost caused me to plummet to my death.
Another time I was woken from a marijuana-induced sleep to find my bed fully ablaze and engulfed in black smoke as my electric blanket had shorted. Throwing buckets of water on it, I wondered if water was actually a good option for an electrical fire. But hey, it did the trick and I came through without so much as a singed hair.
Sometimes I feel danger beckons me even when I’m not looking for it. Once when strolling through a park, a shady-looking fella approached me. Intuitively I sensed he was up to no good. So I quickened my pace, noticing that he was eyeing off my music shuffler clipped to my chest. As he made a sudden lunge to grab it, ripping my shirt in the process, my precious tunes fell to the ground. As we simultaneously dived for it, I thought, Nobody gets my music! I snatched it up just before he reached it. Feeling anger and indignation, I rose with a clenched fist. Surprisingly, my first urge was to strike him - until I saw him reach inside his shirt as though to produce a weapon, which was when my flight instinct kicked in and I was off, with the guy in hot pursuit. About a kilometre later, I managed to outrun him. How, I’ll never know, because while I ran for my life I had to juggle my day bag, my shuffler and my phone and also make a frantic call to 000. While speaking to the operator, I was also clutching my pants which kept threatening to fall down. So I guess it’s true women are better at multi-tasking than men!
Over time I have met and befriended some very sad and broken people, encountering them at support groups and mental health units, only to realise over time that I had as little in common with those so-called crazy people as I did with the supposedly sane. One time I shared accommodation with a woman who believed she was an earth angel, here to carry out 'God's work', his hand-picked messenger. After some trying weeks, I had no choice but to politely ask her to leave. She reacted by trashing my unit and giving me a flogging I won’t forget. I guess the irony of the situation was lost on her. I’m still curious about what was 'God's message' to her regarding me. While my bruises faded, I pondered upon it, which only fuelled my general disappointment with humanity, increasing my lack of hope.
But I like to believe that there is a big happiness somewhere else. A palm reader once read my palm and looked at me with concern. When she said, 'Sorry dear, I hate to tell you this but you won’t live to a ripe old age,' my reply was, 'That’s okay. This life is already taking too long as it is.' She seemed a bit relieved by my response and more than happy to take my money, and more contented with the fact that I was satisfied with my reading than the fact that I had a death wish.
So time will tell, I guess. I may grow old and decrepit in some nursing home, with no children to love, miss or care for me. Though hopefully, I'll be gone before that, the palm reading predictions having come true. After all, if life is an illusion and death a beautiful dream, some days I’d rather not wake. Photo credit Danist.
Danger at large calls
It does call me! Probably most people heed the alert, run a mile or just don’t go there in the first place. Cautious, they walk and drive slowly, weigh up the hazards of every situation. They're probably Librans and back off.
I, on the other hand, embrace risk. Why this is my nature I don’t know. I jump into situations, make spontaneous decisions that I often regret but mostly it’s all about embarking on a new adventure into the unknown.
I visit war zones, walk dark alleyways at night, smile and say hello, trust strangers and relish discovering afresh - not having it all pre-planned and researched for months beforehand.
I like to see artwork for the first time, not having viewed it on a virtual tour of the gallery in advance.
This attitude keeps the brain cells sharp and alert and the adrenalin flowing, I believe. So far my methodology has worked for sixty-five years - and long may it last!
Danger calls again
I don’t know about you but my home is one of a rapidly diminishing number which still supports a landline. Because of this, I am the recipient of almost daily telephone calls from places as far apart as Montenegro, Addis Ababa, Serbia and Nigeria.
Inevitably, the calls concern bank accounts which are in my name, and which I am informed I can access, and which hold substantial amounts of money. All I have to do to release the funds is to deposit a modest sum into an account nominated by the caller. At first, I was mildly polite and declined these kind offers but more recently, because of the increasing volume of such calls, I have taken to threatening the callers, suggesting that I will track them down and visit serious harm upon them and their loved ones.
The other day, I was surprised to receive such a call, the surprise resulting from the fact that the voice at the other hand was quite clearly Anglo-Saxon. So instead of venting an immediate threat to the caller’s life and limb and being caught off guard, I offered, ‘Can I help you?’
‘Fred Danger here. I’m calling with an offer you might be interested in.’
‘Who is this again?’
‘Danger is my name and I’m not a scam so don’t hang up.’
For a moment, I doubted myself. I hesitated. Then I came to my senses. I said nothing but placed the phone back in its cradle. Photo credit Quino Al