After that long day receiving red blood cells at the cancer centre, I was pooped. I had been forewarned that my wonder drug, morphine, might cause hallucinations. I have slowly been increasing my dose, and had recently taken a booster dose upon experiencing breakthrough pain. That’s when strange things started occurring.
First, my non-Jewish friend with Jewish baking prowess unexpectedly showed up at our door with a six-strand challah. Yes, you read that right, six strands of gorgeous challah braided to perfection. I have never seen such a gorgeous loaf, even at a Jewish celebration. This is the same friend who outdid all of us, Jewish or not, at the recent Jewish baking class, assembling those bacon-filled knishes adeptly as she did. She’d also dropped off a chocolate babka she’d made one day long ago, as if she whips together Jewish gourmet offerings all the time. I knew her history and her skills and YouTube cheater videos, yet I was sure I was hallucinating the challah.
The friend brought the challah in, removed her shoes, and settled in. I figured it was all a dream. Then, as the morphine took hold, I tried to keep myself from nodding off altogether, while another friend appeared unexpectedly with a trophy-like object in one hand, and a gorgeous rhubarb-apple pie in the other. How odd. I couldn’t recall winning the Spelling or Grammar Bee (I would have been a shoo-in had I entered) or tried out for Name that Classical Tune. I was becoming very confused.
I took a closer look at the trophy and realized that the figure was holding a stick of some kind. Was it lacrosse or hockey? All I knew was that this friend too seemed to be expected, and he too assumed a place on the couch. Then his wife, Ms. Challah Bun in the Oven, arrived to join the festivities. Everyone else seemed to know why we were gathered, except for spacey old me.
If you thought you could easily pull off a surprise on me before, imagine how oblivious I am now. With morphine, I am off to La La Land, and I won’t be back for some time. A nap would have helped, but that seemed rude in present company, if indeed present company was not a mirage.
At some point, I was informed that we were celebrating my hockey pool win, that unfathomable victory I’d secured the week prior. Judy had chosen me such an excellent roster this year that I’d left even her own team choices in the dust. I’d have jumped for joy at the victory–surprise, surprise, this Jewish lass had never received a sports trophy in her life–but injury would have ensued. I can’t even walk in a straight line right now; do you think I can lift both feet off the ground simultaneously without risking serious injury?
This morphine is a potent drug. In no time, I’ve had my greatest dreams fulfilled. There I sat Tuesday afternoon, celebrating my first ever major sports victory, as I lay
dying hallucinating. No, I will not share my morphine with you. Dying people are selfish.
P.S. I’m so excited about tomorrow’s Blood Donor Clinics in Toronto and Calgary. Your support has been tremendous.