“For one million dollars, is that your final answer?”
Music and audience voices combine into a blast of noise that almost masks the drumming of my heart. Am I right? Do I trust my memory of high school history or should I use a lifeline to confirm the answer?
“I, I … I need to pee.”
The brilliant lights, noisy people and uncomfortable studio chairs vanish. I am in bed with a pressing urge to hurry to the bathroom. Damn! This is the second time tonight; I wake needing to empty my bladder. I know not to drink anything after dinner and still each evening, I swig ice tea until bedtime and a few hours later, I get to berate myself for another night of interrupted sleep.
Over the years, I have gathered vast knowledge regarding my body. I know that drinking fluids in the evening will result in midnight visits to the porcelain throne. It does not matter what type of beverage I sip, any liquid has the same effect.
I also know that eating food spiced with more than a pinch of salt will hatch a sea urchin in my stomach to undulate through my intestines. The creature’s journey causes heartburn, indigestion and frequent stabbing pains.
The outside of my body has betrayed me too. The face in my mirror is not the image I carry of myself in my mind. The reflection cannot be mine, but of an unwanted roommate who lives in the space on the other side of the glass. Except for the wrinkles, gray hair and frown lines she looks somewhat like me, but older, definitely older.
Maybe I need a checkup. Frequent urination, irritable bowels and pain can indicate a serious health condition. I would look up the symptoms on the internet, but the variety of diseases they match would overwhelm me and keep me awake. At 56, I need my beauty sleep.