Thursday, August 26, 2004
We all know how amusing illness is. I myself adore that mix of claustrophobia and cabin fever swirled in with the lovely aroma of approaching death that wafts through my apartment as my fever climbs ever higher. The taste of chicken soup never gets old. A steady stream of orange juice down my throat is bracing and revivifying. The deliciousness of Tylenol crushed to powder because swallowing is agony is indescribable. Every second of a sick day is an adventure because I can never tell from moment to moment whether I will feel a shivery Antarctic chill or sweats from the Amazon. Exciting and new! I am incredulous that the calcium on my bones actually seems to contain nerves because I can certainly feel the things. The human body is an amazing thing. The past couple have days have been a total blast.
One very hilarious friend opined that my sick days can’t actually be too different from my healthy days. After all, all I do for the entire day is sit in front of my computer, typing whatever comes to mind and screening my phone calls (if my phone is even on). Yes, of course. My life, and writing for that matter, is just that simple.
There is some truth to it however. My living room is my office and my computer knows all my secrets. It takes a herculean effort to convince me to leave my apartment and I do avoid the phone as much as I can and. Despite my apathetic, antisocial tendencies I somehow still manage to have a healthy romance and sex life and, much more importantly, quite a number of friends who still want to spend time with me for some reason. But that’s not the point. I challenge anyone to sit up straight all day at a computer and be stupendously brilliant while your internal body temperature is approaching 50,000 degrees Kelvin and you wish your flesh would just slide off your bones already so they would stop aching so much, and then say such things to me.
But at least I don’t live in my friend AlefAlef’s fish tank, and not just because you would have to remove my bones to stuff me inside it. I am glad that I don’t live in it due to the ichthyoid version of the bubonic plague that appears to be sweeping through his little marine community. Around 60% percent of his fish have succumbed to this pestilence. While this would be a disaster for humans, it doesn’t appear to have affected the survivors in any enormous capacity – except for one gorgeous male betta who has been banished forever to a separate vase for, as I understand it, munching on the dead and dying. The affliction causes fuzzy white mold to grow all over the fishy body, inside and outside, until the poor creature suffocates. What a terrible way to go.
I cannot imagine a more nightmarish scenario to live through. You flutter from water plant to water plant, dodging zombies covered in white slime begging you for aid, their eyes glazed over with pussy white cataracts. A giant glowing ogre roams to and fro like the Angel of Death looking for corpses on which to feast. You are terrified he may mistake you for one of the infected and start with your fins so you can’t get away as he slowly consumes the rest of you. All the while, AlefAlef’s giant net ploughs through the water chanting, “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!” Horrific. I am certainly glad I don’t live there.
So I’ll stick with my little fever and weird dreams and pump the liquids through my system until I feel better. I’ll fight through the invisible clay that has settled on my limbs until it cracks and falls away. The next time I go to AlefAlef’s for supper, I sure hope he doesn’t serve me sardines.
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