December 31, 1999



Famous Last Words


All my life I've looked into the future toward tonight, wondering where I'd be, how old I'd be, what my life would be like, what I'd do to ring in the Year 2000, what the world would be like. Now that I'm here, I find myself pretty much where I hoped I'd be: married, a father, comfortable.

But I never thought I'd have the flu.

I've spent the last four or five days in a congested, snarking, coughing, hacking, wheezing, snotty, miserable blur of daytime TV and fizzing glasses of Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine and dirty clothes and scuzzy, unwashed skin. It's been about as much fun as it sounds. It's probably been even less attractive.

Today, finally, I'm feeling a little bit better. I'm only hacking up fist-sized chunks of phlegm now, and I actually managed to inhale half a breath through one nostril earlier this morning. My throat doesn't seem to be lined with ground glass anymore, and my skin was finally able to withstand the beating of a good shower. Things are looking up.

Just in time, too, because we have people coming over to ring in the New Year with a very suburban evening of board games and rented movies, and it simply wouldn't do for me to be Creature from the Hack Lagoon when they get here. A good host doesn't breathe diseased air on his guests, nor does he cough up green clots of goo in the middle of a Scrabble tournament.

And wasn't that a pretty picture? Sorry. My point is simply that I'm mobile again and I wanted to get one last entry up before the grid goes down and we all revert back to caveman living.

Midnight has already come and gone in New Zealand and Australia as I write this and all indications are that nothing untoward is going down. But I'm not buying it. It makes for a much better entry if I believe that the Space Aliens Among Us are faking those reports and that Life As We Know It will end at the stroke of midnight and we will go back to living in caves.

These words will be my final thoughts recorded on this, the Internet, the pinnacle of human creation. Perhaps one day future generations of cockroaches will rediscover the ashes of our technical achievement and will read my words and will wonder ...

"Who was that guy?"