This past week I’ve been lying in bed sneezing into a hankie and moaning. I’ve been on the mean streets of my second flu-bronchitis-near-death experience this winter. Having a lot of down time, and a high fever, makes for some weird disorganized logic. Was Jesus an alien? Can my dog read my mind? Can you really cough up a lung?
If the words “crazed looking disheveled wreck” creates a vision for you than you know what was staring back at me from a 3 a.m. mirror the other night. It might have been my dead grandmother but I think it was me.
With all this time to entertain fever dreams it seems only natural to cave into worry about the Middle East, the implications for gas prices, the cost of food, the chances of losing a job/getting a job/never being able to retire/ not finding a house without some weird smell/leak/mouse poop/live ammo in the attic/or holes in the floor, or never finishing a knitting project. I’m pretty well beat up.
Driven by a spiking temp, I’ve been asking myself some really important questions. Was the career counselor onto something when I was 18 and she told me my aptitude tests showed I should either be a writer or a shepherd? Or why is it when you meet someone you swear you’ll never forget, you can’t remember their name a month later? And why do you just dislike some people on sight? Or, on the opposite pole, why can’t we all just be friends?
None of it matters. If Thomas Paine was right, its times like these that not only “try men’s (and presumably women’s) souls” but just makes you trying, you know, a capital PIA Pain In the Ass. “Please, can you bring me over some chicken soup/crackers/kleenex/eye drops/nose drops/a netty pot/water/orange juice/ tea bags? Did I mention kleenex? Can you close the blinds? Turn off the light? Turn on the light? No, not that light, the little light. Bring me a book? No not that book, the other book. You forgot my glasses. No, not those glasses, the brown ones. Can I have some water? Can I have some more? Can you get me one of those bells so when I need something I can ring it and… and…”
I think I’m channeling Barbara Stanwyck in “Sorry, Wrong Number”.
I have to go back to sleep now.
The flu makes no friends.