Artery: (n) any of the muscular-walled tubes forming part of the circulation system by which blood (mainly that which has been oxygenated) is conveyed from the heart to all parts of the body.
The doctor frowned at me, peering over her glasses at a chart, unseen to my perception. She said, “You have the arteries of a seventy-five-year-old man.”
I replied, “I am so sorry. I will return them as soon as I acquire some of my own.”
She did not laugh.
Doctors are not allowed to laugh, especially when they’re staring at charts with nasty scrawlings.
Most of my adult life, my understanding of the artery was to assume that it has been clogged. Being raised on an American diet which certainly has a similar effect to a long-haired woman taking numerous showers in your bathtub, clogging is nearly inevitable.
So when I heard this, even though I joked with my doctor, I was a bit alarmed.
One of the things I have strongly opposed for many years is my own death. Matter of fact, I am downright adamant aginst it. (I have deep feelings about your demise as well, but not nearly as convicted as I am about mine.)
I also don’t like the idea of having a heart attack. It sounds quite terrifying, and since that muscle is necessary for breathing, I am not anxious to find out what it feels like to be breathless.
Fortunately for my well-being, I have always been fond of fruits and vegetables–what we call “good food.” I intersperse “bad food” into the mix to keep myself well-rounded. Literally.
But it is not a stretch for me to abandon these nefarious companions in favor of more puritanical friendships with food.
So although I received this diagnosis about my arteries many years ago, I am still here. And I am eating, working, dieting and to some extent, exercising, with the aspiration of remaining upright for some time to come.
In the process, I think I actually may have been able to return those arteries to that unknown gentleman in his seventies.
It makes you wonder: when I’m seventy-five, will they threaten me by saying I have the arteries of a hundred-year-old?
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix