Now then: it isn't so much that one way of dying beats another, though that certainly is the case, but rather that when you KNOW the jig could be up any second or any decade -- it's the awareness that's important -- that just might make a difference. I'm like everybody else, I have these moments and then forget, lapsing back into "immortality." But there was a thing that happened in my back yard maybe 18 months before we split from Maryland that hit me as hard as seeing their president drop dead on stage must have hit those graduating seniors.
It was the crickets. I'd gone outside one warm fall evening to shut the garage door and suddenly realized I couldn't hear the crickets! No wait, I could, but only if I turned my head a certain way. Oh God, oh no: I had almost no high-frequency hearing in my right ear, or was it my left? That doesn't matter. The point is, a part of me had shut down permanently. No, it hadn't happened suddenly, but I had finally noticed, and that was hard to take. I'd never again hear crickets like I once had. Never! I walked back to the house in tears. All right, I'm sensitive. But I understood at once what all this meant.