Lately, behind me in the shadows and corners of dimly lit rooms, Death stalks softly.
I’m uncertain if it’s simply the rule of three—three good things in a row, three bad—or if having my foot in a cast has made me more aware of the inevitability of age and the gradual entropy that all things slid toward. But in the past few weeks I feel like I’ve been confronted with too many near misses—a friend diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, but cured with surgery; a niece in a car accident escaping bruised, but not broken—along with the death of a dear colleague’s spouse from complications of lung cancer and the death of the father of one of my high school friends.
It feels like Death is gliding by, culling whom he chooses, his chill fingers caressing the back of my neck.
Things come in threes.
How far back can I go to round out the threes? How far removed is too removed to count?
As much as I want this grisly set of threes to be done, I know that this trio’s ending is really just resetting the countdown clock. It’s the illusion of completeness that brings a sigh of relief.