I've looked into the face of Death several times-- sometimes closer than others as the time I dangled upside down off the side of Mount Washington one cold February afternoon. The temperature close to 70 degrees below I could barely even feel the foot that was tangled in an outstreached branch-- the foot that had kept me from falling to the ground.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg, hit by a car on Interstate 290 on another freezing February (doesn't seem to be my month) I had avoided jumping over an embankment that would have found me plummeting 40 feet to the concrete below I instead managed to drag myself over a guardrail for safety until the paramedics could find me.
A doctor visit once where the bedside manner was lacking-- not my regular doctor mind you, who is outstanding, but a specialist who said I was either fine or I had about three weeks to live and I should take the precautions and get my affairs in order as he handed me a pamphlet describing what was about to kill me and walked out of the room.
I know it sounds like a lie, but I laughed and threw the pamphlet in the trash. When he came back in he said we'd know in about three days after the tests came back and asked if I had any other questions. I asked him what box of cracker jacks he got his medical degree out of and left.
Walking down the hallway to the elevator I know Death stood there beside me, goading me on, poking me with that boney finger like one of the hundreds of bullies I felt like I had to deal with from first up to my growth spurt in eighth grade. Funny how the bullies leave you alone once you hit 180lbs.
Like the bullies I shoved Mr. Death away and told him not today.
Something is going to kill me someday-- that's a fact that is indisputable. But as I said then, not this.
Last month I got hit with the Norovirus which at times certainly felt like Death had made a re appearance bringing me tainted chicken soup-- but still I looked him in the eye and told him better luck next time.
I'm not going to lie, I am sometimes superstitious and if a Friday the 13th should ever fall in a February I'll likely opt to stay in wrapped in bubblewrap for the day- but Death doesn't frighten me.