I have such a delicate relationship with apples. I love them. But I only eat red delicious apples. I won’t eat a green apple and I won’t eat a red round one. And I won’t bite into an apple or eat near the core. I always have to cut the apple into pieces.
Even though apples make me work overtime, I do eat one a day, not even to keep the doctor away, I want the doctor to remain close on the contrary.
However, whenever I eat an apple, as opposed to any other food I am always only able to enjoy the experience about halfway because I possess myself with the thought, “What if I choke on this?” I don’t know what it is about an apple that seems so choke-able. Usually people choke on chicken bones, or their own vomit after drinking, not many people who’ve died famously of choking, did it on an apple.
Even though I live with Neil, it’s not like we’re home at the same time. He’s not always home when it’s time for me to eat my apple. When I lived alone, I got to a point where I could eat an apple, very bravely, without a fear of choking. But still, I remember the day that Neil and I pulled the U-Haul up to our new apartment, I felt relieved about all the eating alone in the house that I no longer had to do.
Two things: I know that eating alone and fearing choking was addressed on an episode of Sex and the City and in an episode of 30 Rock. This is for good reason. Women think about this stuff. And so do I. And I’ve been thinking about it for a long, long time – before I even saw either show.
In fact (this is the second thing) I’ve been thinking about it since I was a kid. One of the first things that my parents taught me, on the very first night that they went out and left me home without a babysitter, were my dads words, “And don’t eat anything. You’ll choke and won’t be able to call 911.”
So anyway, the other day, Neil is out and I bravely prepare an apple and sit down to watch the previous night’s David Letterman. He has some non-famous, average American woman on who’s telling her story of the dog that saved her life by doing some kind of jumping on her chest when she had fallen to the floor, CHOKING ON AN APPLE.
I almost choked on my apple watching this. Was this a fucking joke? Was my TV talking to me? I thought I was going insane and that would be the incident that made me put tinfoil on my head and go to an institution where I’d live for the rest of my life on some kind of tranquilizer and the ward nurses would be warned, “Don’t give her apples, not even applesauce.”
I have seen many “average American people” telling incredible stories on Letterman recently, and they’ve all turned out to be sketches. So then I decided to play a fun game in my psycho head. “If this is a sketch, everything will be fine. If it’s not…I’m going to choke.”
Turned out, it wasn’t a sketch. The woman even brought her dog out. She kept mentioning in detail her windpipe being blocked and how she for sure would have been dead because she couldn’t make sound or breathe when her dog knocked her over and performed his version of the heimleich. She tried to get the dog to reenact his dramatic rescue by putting an apple in her mouth and pounding her chest but he was busy running over to Paul Shaffer.
I lost my faith in dogs at that point as well, knowing that it’s really only a iffy situation if I’m every choking in front of a dog. It’s really not a gaurantee that any old dog will save my life. And I don’t have a dog. So I stopped eating the apple and watched it turn brown in my bowl. I fell asleep on the couch and when Neil got home I started preparing another one.