My Petrie Dish

Every morning I wake with what feels like dried glue in my mouth and fire burning in my eyes. I rip off my CPAP mask, struggle out of bed, stiff, sore, still tired, and make my way to the bathroom. I rinse the dried mucous from my mouth so I can open and close it normally. Hunched over from an aching lower back I walk to my exercise area, begin my morning stretching and work-out routine.

As I move more, I cough more. Little coughs dislodge the mucous from my throat, and then as I progress through my routine, from my bronchia. With the workout, larger gobs of phlegm rise from my chest, fill my mouth. I can taste my killer.

This pool of mucous makes an excellent growing environment for the pneumococci that love to live in the lungs of us elderly. The CPAP breathing mask I wear in order to sleep more soundly has escalated the sinus drain I continuously experience. Ironic really that there are so many larger dangers in life but I will most likely be taken down by the tiniest.

an old dandelion
bends downward
windblown seeds

In this, my seventy second year, Iím well aware there is much more past than future, and death may be the most significant event in the years I have left. I think Iíve already met my killer but I suppose there are several other possibilities. Many men my age have heart, circulation, blood pressure issues and face death by heart attack or serious strokes. Cancer is a dreaded word for my generation because it typically translates as death more than the name for a specific disease. Iím vulnerable to some sort of serious road accident on the rural highway and roads to and from my place.

No, I think my killer will be tiny microbial organisms that grow in the petri dish within my lungs.

a rattling cough
swirls of pneumococci
grow deep in the lung