An older man in his 80’s answers the question, “How are you doing today” with “I’m on the edge of fantastic”. The next day, the same question is asked, and he answers “I’m on the edge of superb.” Which then led him to question is superb better than fantastic? Although, if you are on the edge of either, there is hope that you are going to feel pretty damn good very soon. Better than “I am on the edge of terrible”. You may feel the same either way, but doesn’t it feel good to think you are on the edge of something pretty amazing?
People ask me all the time how I’m doing, and I say “pretty good, thanks”. What if I answered that I’m on the edge of fantastic and then started revealing what had actually been rolling around in my brain?
- I have two mosquito bites on my left heel. They itch like a (expletive deleted). I didn’t even know they were there until all of a sudden they started itching so bad that I was completely consumed with my attempts to scratch them with such fervor everything else around me disappeared. It was just me, my fingernails and my heel. For a split second though, reason crept back in and I remembered I had hydrocortisone cream. Rubbed it into my heel. And it slowly stopped itching and I again forgot all about them. Until out of nowhere, they started itching again. What purpose do mosquitos serve? Why do insects like honey bees start disappearing, but mosquitos survive?
- I’m not sure my right contact is in my eye. I’m too scared to check because if it’s not then when I stick my finger in my eye, it’s gonna hurt. Even worse, it could be in there but not on my actual pupil. It’s a little game of contact hide and seek. I do not enjoy this game. So I have been dealing with a blurry eye all day because I am a big baby.
- My friend sent me a picture of my oldest chicken at her first cross country meet. Granted, it was late and I had been falling asleep, but it took me at least a few looks at this picture to realize it was not my daughter. Not the same hair, girl was wearing glasses, and not the sneakers I bought for her. Found out later that the girl in the picture is like 6 feet tall which is a good 10 inches taller than her.
- This week, on the way to Newark I sat next to a man that had to have been over 6’4, seemed a little grumpy and unfriendly, yet when he looked out the window and saw the NYC skyline for the first time, he looked like a little kid on Christmas morning. He asked me if I was from NYC and I said no. He was disappointed, saying “I have so many questions right now”. I felt guilty for not being able to point out the landmarks to him. I almost pointed out the Statue of Liberty, but figured that would lead to more questions I couldn’t answer, so I stayed quiet.
- I had the same driver on both Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday he didn’t say much. He was friendly, just not chatty. On Thursday at 4:15AM, I learned he was from the Philippines and had survived 4 hurricanes. His parents would yell to him and his siblings to get to the bunker. He only visits in the summer now when it’s not the stormy season. He described how if you take a boat out a ways, you can still see clear down to the bottom of the water and that the best time to go to the beach is at 6AM.
- On Wednesday night, although I was minutes away from New York City, I ate rubbery fried shrimp (almost chipped my tooth biting into it) from a buffet counter at a grocery store in Jersey City. One of the highlights of that same evening was when I found a Walgreens right next to my hotel and bought socks and blister bandaids. (I had a shoe malfunction that led to a realization of my poor packing abilities.
- I was witness to a cappuccino machine explosion at the Java Moon in the Newark airport. Shooting flames, sparks flying, a lady dive bombing out of the way, coffee cup on fire. Yet no one got out of line. Except for me. I decided I didn’t need a breakfast sandwich that bad.
- On the flight from Newark to Detroit, I somehow sat in the wrong row and so did the guy next to me. We chuckled at our joint stupidity. I had to assure him twice that the plane was not going to take him straight to Raleigh, North Carolina. (We would be stopping in Detroit first.) We shared a little nap for the next hour or so. He was still sleeping when the plane slammed down on the runway, scaring the hell out of him which caused him to elbow me. He quickly recovered, pretended like it didn’t happen, and put his headphones in. But we both knew what had happened.
- This morning, I found the air freshener that was permeating my car. I have allergies and those things drive me crazy. My family knows this, but it doesn’t stop them. Even more hilarious to them, they hide them in the car so I can’t find them. Jokes on them though because after a week, I finally figured out where it was. Ironically, the air freshener had “Relax” written on the bottom of it.
These are my surface level thoughts that entertain me. The ones that keep me on the edge of fantastic. I know for me, every time I start to wallow into darker thoughts, either I find ways to amuse myself, or the right person at the right moment appears, makes me laugh, and I rise back up to the surface and focus on the lighter things.
Doesn’t it feel good when someone else sees you, really sees you, and knows in that moment you need a little bit of laughter? I love those people. Those people keep me right on the edge of fantastic every day. And I bet if I could spend all my time with those people, I would be past the edge. But for now, reality does have to play a part, we can’t be with those people every minute, so I will take what I can get. Those damn mosquito bites, they are going to gnaw at me again. Drive me crazy, consume my every thought. But hand me some hydrocortisone cream and I will relax again and forget all about them for a little while.