Sunday 22 January 2017

Live every day as if it were your last ... or even just one

Published 10/08/2014 | 02:30

Oscar Wilde - 'One of us has to go'.
Oscar Wilde - 'One of us has to go'.

A couple of weeks ago - around about July 20th - I thought I was going to die. Soon. Pronto. Any moment now. It was an alarming few days prompted by a number of things.

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Every now and again I get a chest infection, having a weakness in "the bronichals", as the Dubliners say, due to the wages of sin, that is, a 35-year addiction to Gitane cigarettes. No, I don't rush to take antibiotics because I've been convinced of the argument that you shouldn't take this medication until you seriously need it, and their overuse is breeding greater superbugs. I just wheeze, cough up a great deal of green stuff, and sweat like a swine. And there's breathlessness.

But on this particular day, I thought: I can't take another breath. I'm going to die. That's it. Sin a bhfuil. Call for the Last Rites. I'm a great believer in the Last Rites, not just for reasons of faith, but because that's the way a diva should die. (I felt it was terribly feeble of the Catholic church to alter the wonderfully dramatic Extreme Unction to the Sacrament for the Sick.)

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