Recently, as Dennis was being infused, we had an interesting discussion. We had been inspired by, of all things, the Geico gecko. Now ordinarily I am not influenced by a green lizard to buy car insurance, or by cavemen who are easily offended by how easy it is to switch to this company. Actually, I tend to avoid allowing any opportunistic burrowing nocturnal marsupial or beast of burden to determine how to invest my money, or my conversational priorities. Personally, I’d prefer consulting with a skin tag.
Nevertheless, while Dennis was in a posture of repose, (and incapable of escape), I asked him with whom he would have lunch if he could choose anyone in the past or present, and what he would ask them. Single stipulation: The Holy Trinity is excluded.
Dennis, bosom heaving and nostrils flaring, making sounds like rapid-fire glottal stops, sighed like he’d just expelled the air from hand bellows. (I recognized this as a familiar reflective response, with a slight undertone of annoyance. He was, after all, being saturated through engorged tubing with a highly potent cocktail of napalm and kerosene, akin to primeval mud, the spilling of which would require clean up from a Haz-Mat squad. And this after several weeks of popping pills comprised mostly of nitroglycerin and methane from cow dung.) I know he wonders if I will ever get custody of my tongue. Sometimes my questions don’t always require a response. Not this time.
But pondering has always been higher on Dennis’ hierarchy of emotions than irritation, a fact that has allowed our union to be preserved. So after some thought, he posted his short list, which, oddly enough, was parallel to mine. After so many years of marriage, people tend to cross-pollinate each other.
- Dennis: Abraham Lincoln – Do you have any regrets?
- Joan: Lizzie Borden – Yes, but did you do it?
- Dennis: Thomas Jefferson – Didn’t you have a debt ceiling? Why didn’t you free your slaves upon your death?
- Joan: Cleopatra – An asp? Really??!!!
- Dennis: Aristotle – What is the meaning of life?
- Joan: Eleanor Roosevelt – Do you have any idea how beautiful your compassion has made you?
- Dennis: Hannibal – How did your elephants get traction?
- Joan: Mom – Thank you.
Friday Dennis was scheduled for a CT scan that would reveal the current status of his condition. In the past, there has been a reduction of the disease burden. But results are not always predictable. These moments can be stressful. However, the report came back that there has been further reduction and stabilization. It was what we had hoped for. Could there be any greater privilege than to witness miracles?
So in that light, we revised our list of lunch guests. We decided our greatest desire would be to break bread with all who have loved us, prayed for us, supported us. It has been said that you live life forward, but understand it backward. Perhaps our only contribution to the conversation of that meal would be “Thank you.”