I have two birthdays

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A doctor who looked like a starved Dracula came into the hospital room and asked, “Are you Anthony M. Caldwell?” I answered, “Yes.”

“My name is Dr. Drake,” he said, “and I’m sorry to tell you that you will be dead from terminal cancer, which has spread throughout your body, by March or April first [2014].

“There is nothing I can do for you, as you rejected resuscitation or surgery, so I’m sending you home to die.”

I asked, “You didn’t give me chemotherapy, or radiation, or surgery?”

The doctor (without changing his death-dirge look) said, “No.”

I said, “Good! Don’t touch me; I’m ready to go home!”

The next day I was sent home on the rock-solid aluminum diamond plate floor of an ambulance that got the order to remove “the deceased.” That ride was like heaven compared to the dying factory that I had left.

That night I slept like I was really dead, but I missed being able to raid the dinner cart of the left-overs that I could pilfer from the hospital.

I am unofficially five years old on my second re-born day (second chance)!

Anthony Caldwell is a member of the writing class offered through the Cerritos College Education Program. It is held off-campus at the Norwalk Senior Center.