The sharp aching in my chest was only enhanced by the incessant coughing. The pain reached up to my throat with sharp fingers, and back to my spine with an elbow jab. I kept waiting for my left arm to go numb, something to let me know that I was actually having a heart attack. I went to the bathroom, and opened the medicine cabinet door. Ibuprofen, asprin-free. Fuck. My roommate's bladder infection medication. Generic shit for colds. Flinstone vitamins. Hell, what could it hurt? I ate a red Barney.
I laid down on the floor and tried to regulate my breathing. Deep, long inhalations that only exacerbated the pain. I spread my arms out, crossed my legs at the ankle. Pretended I was Jesus. The exhalations dulled the ache a bit; I preferred not to breathe. Was it the cigarettes? Too much dark soda? The broccoli? Fuck, I don't know. Does it matter right now?
Okay. If this gets worse, my arm really does go numb or start hurting, I'm going to the hospital. No need to wake up my roommate, not like she could do anything. The hospitals only ten blocks away, anyways. I imagined sitting in that ER waiting room. Those kind of scratchy chairs and the stark white tile. What's the waiting room like at three am? It's only Friday morning, shouldn't be too outrageous, right? Where the fuck is the actual ER in that hospital anyway? I guess I'll have to put my parents' address down on the insurance forms. I'd call them right away. Well, right after I got taken back somewhere to a room. God, I hate IVs. Somehow, I wasn't as scared of them, at that very moment. It would totally get me out of work tomorrow though. I don't care about that, though, I just don't want to be having a heart attack. What if they have to use those paddles on me? What is that thing called? I dunno, that thing that jolts you back after you die. They yell "CLEAR" and shock the shit out of you. Those things leave burn marks. It'd be pretty cool to have burn marks left over. It'd suck to go through the process of getting them though. I'd call my parents when I figured it out, and they'd come in, and I'd call my boss that morning. How long would I be out? Friday and Saturday? I'm already off Sunday through Tuesday. My paycheck will suck. I hope I don't have atrial fibrillation. I don't want to get an ablasion.
I kept coughing. My chest kept swelling then relaxing with pain. A tide of it was slowly rising and falling beneath my sternum.
I guess perhaps, I might be dying.
What if I was, right now?
It's not so bad, is it? I wonder what happens next.