One of the most helpful moments in my life almost killed me.  

It was late at night in January, 25 years ago, and I was in a deep funk.  I’m prone to fits of depression so it wasn’t anything especially new. I’d learned how to put a good face on things and I thought that I had the world fooled. But damn if I wasn’t easy prey for the nearest perceptive predator.

I pulled up in front of my apartment and slowly got out of my car. My head was down when I went to the trunk to unload a painting. I felt a gun at my back.  Nothing in the world gets your absolute attention like a gun. Before I knew it, I was riding in the back seat while a couple of bad tempered strangers riding up front interviewed me.  Did I live alone?  What did I own?  I put my game face on and explained to them that they got the wrong guy.   All they would find In my apartment was a 13″ black and white TV.  They had the car, they had all my keys, they didn’t need me. 

The older, angrier guy got out and nodded to his friend.  The two of us who remained drove a short ways further and then the car stopped.  The young man stared at me and started spinning the chamber of his gun.  It occurred to me that he was deciding if I was going to live or die.   After thinking it over myself, I concluded that I wanted to live. Its a good thing to know.  

After an eternity of silence the gunman nodded to the door and I got out.  As I walked away I held my head high.  

All these years later, especially on nights when the melancholy returns, its good to remember that night.

I wanted to live.