Have you ever fainted? I have a few times in my life. With my long body if I have been lying down for a while and get up too quickly, I get lightheaded and in extreme cases I faint. This hasn’t happened in the last fifty years because I know to sit up for a few seconds before I stand up. One of the first times I fainted was when I was a boy and went to YMCA Camp. Each morning we were roused from our bunks, if we weren’t already up and dressed, by a loud summons to gather around the flag pole. One morning I leaped up, hurried into my clothes, and raced out to join the fast-forming circle of boys. Next thing I knew, I was looking up into a ring of curious faces.
But the one I want to tell you about is when Sandy and I lived in Evansville, Indiana. We lived in a duplex. Our daughter Robin was less than one year old. On the other side of the unit lived another young couple, also with a small child. One evening I heard through the thin walls the mother crooning a goodnight song to her daughter. I got out my trombone, stood next to the wall, and began softly accompanying her. There was an immediate silence, a delighted giggle, and then we continued singing and playing her daughter off to sleep.
Anyway, one weekend afternoon I was taking a nap on the sofa in our living room and was awakened by the doorbell. I jumped up and went to the door. When I opened it, a man was standing there. He told me his name and announced in a cheerful voice that he would like to come in and tell me about a life insurance policy he was selling.
At that point I fainted backward onto the floor. My wife appeared from somewhere and crouched down to comfort me. The salesman began to stutter and asked if I was alright. Sandy informed him that I had just fainted and would be fine in a minute. “Does this sometimes,” she said.
I didn’t see the poor guy leave but I could easily imagine that he sped straight back to the office and tendered his resignation.