Not much stops me in my tracks. But a certain heart specialist managed it on Wednesday.
I could say I hadn't recovered my breath after walking uphill on the treadmill, wires hanging from vital places, for what seemed like ages but was probably only a few minutes. And that would be true.
Imagine it. A heart specialist has you in this vulnerable position and you wait to hear whether or not you are long for this mortal coil, feeling, quite honestly like the next breath might be your last. He places the results of your treadmill labours on the table, picks up a pen to use as a pointer, you lower your eyes to the results expecting a dire explanation of the wiggles and squiggles.
And he says, "So what's on your Bucket List?"
And looks at you quizzically with gentle blue eyes. "Have you seen the movie?" he asks.
"Great movie, isn't it?"
I nod again.
"So do you have a Bucket list?' he asks again.
Somehow I manage to stammer out something about the West Indies Cricket Tour and he asks, "Anything else?"
I think I managed to say something about South America, grandchildren.
But my poor brain couldn't cope with all that was happening in there at once.... heart specialist, treadmill, pounding heart, oh shit, results, Bucket List, oh shit, things must be bad, oh shit....
And then he goes back to the business in hand and explains the results of my test. I think I vaguely understand and I DID clarify that I will have time to have a bucket list "as long as your arm". I'll wait for my doctor to receive the specialist's report, then go see him for an explanation.
What is still bothering me is why did this intelligent man (he's got to be, he's a heart specialist, for heaven's sake) think that was an appropriate time to make small talk and enquire about a Bucket List.
Had he just seen the movie the night before? (That's my number one logical explanation)
Had he no idea how a person might interpret that question?
Has he the most outlandish sense of humour? (Can you imagine his thinking, Yeah, it's been a boring morning, I'll try the Bucket List one on this one!)