Sick While Single

I’m currently in the throes of the head cold from hell. It is so bad, in fact, that it had me googling “coronavirus symptoms”. (I know. Paranoia. That happens when my temperature goes above 100 degrees. Worst case scenarios dance through my head. In technicolor.)

At least my worst fear can no longer be realized. When I was single and in a feverish state, I used to worry that I’d die and it would be about three days before anyone found my body. I don’t know why that bothered me so much. I mean, after all, I’d be dead. I’d be beyond help. But that really, really used to freak me out.

Now that I’m married, I suspect that my body would be found within 6 hours, at the absolute most. Yay, I guess. That greatly reduces the stink factor for those I leave behind. But it also means that I was loved. And after all, isn’t that what we’re all hoping for out of life?

If you’re single, and you have a cold coming on, I suggest you reach out to someone, anyone, and ask them to call you once or twice a day to check for signs of life. You’ll still be sick, but at least you’ll know that someone cares. And that counts a lot toward healing.

Wishing you health and happiness, dear reader.

sick-girl

I wrote an actual book, and you can own it! How cool is that? http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

If My Cold Were an Old Man

I wrote this recently while in the throes of a cold. In retrospect, I find it funny that I chose to place myself back in Florida to describe my misery. I guess the unrelenting heat helped the fever imagery. But it also speaks to my state of mind when I lived there. Anyway, rest assured, I’m feeling much better now.

I was sitting on my front porch, baking in the heat, desperately clutching a glass of lemonade as if it were a life raft. The sweat from the glass did nothing to assuage the perspiration on my forehead. My light cotton shirt was determined to cling to the small of my back. I felt lifeless and hopeless.

I closed my eyes, trying to resist the urge to start screaming in frustration, knowing that if I did it would be a feeble effort that would come out as a weak moan. And afterwards I’d still feel unheard. I felt like ten kinds of crap, and there was nothing I could do about it.

The occasional gust of wind provided no comfort either. It merely kicked up the dust from the dirt road out front. I felt coated with a layer of grime. I felt heavier, somehow, as if I could easily be buried alive if I didn’t move.

If I could only muster the strength to turn on the garden hose and rinse the clay off my bare feet, I’d feel so much better. Such a nice idea. Just out of reach.

When I opened my eyes, I realized he was there. An old man, standing on the crumbling sidewalk, looking at me, smiling. It made me jump. I felt a little chill. But only for a second. Then the bone-frying heat set in again, seeming to pour out of my eye sockets.

We’d met before. He was a tall man, and so thin you could see his tendons. Weathered is how I would describe him, as if he had been left lying in a ditch like a cast-off doll, in the wind and rain, for his entire life. He looked like he might just blow away like a tumbleweed. This man was made of cracked clay.

He wore a white t-shirt, and dark grey pants held up by suspenders. His leather shoes looked like they were on the verge of disintegration. And he had a fedora. Who wears fedoras anymore? Somehow that fedora irritated me.

He asked if he could come out of the sun for a time. I indicated the rocking chair. I didn’t really feel like I had to say much of anything. He was there. Where else would he have gone?

He settled in and I offered him a glass of lemonade, as you do. He nodded his thanks, and poured it himself. He rocked for a time, as the heat shimmered on the kudzu on the other side of the road. Even the rattlesnakes had taken cover, but the cicadas seemed to be buzzing inside my head. I felt dizzy.

He, on the other hand, seemed just fine. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him slowly rock. It was almost as if he were intent on some goal. The chair creaked, making my nerves jangle. That’s why I had chosen to sit on the steps. Creak. Creak. I wished he would just go away and leave me alone.

I began to realize that he wasn’t as fragile as I first thought. He wouldn’t blow away. No. He was more like tanned leather, or beef jerky. He would endure, quietly, yet stubbornly, for all eternity. He could easily be a thousand years old. He wasn’t going anywhere.

I began to feel desiccated, like a lizard that had been trapped in place until death came to shrivel it up. No amount of lemonade could quench my thirst. My tongue felt as if it were swelling and cracking, and I wanted to cry, but the tears wouldn’t come.

The buzzing inside my head got louder as the pressure began to build. I felt a dull ache, and a suffocating sensation. I felt like I was drowning in hot, bubbling mud, and would soon sink below the surface, with no one there to rescue me, as the old man quietly watched.

He tried to hand me a dirty handkerchief, a grudging gesture at best, but I couldn’t have raised a hand to take it if I had wanted to. He thanked me for the lemonade, and said it was time for him to move on. But he’d see me again sometime.

I slumped on the porch, feeling like Appomattox the day after the battle, long before all the bloody, bloated corpses had been removed. I wondered what would be visited upon me next, as the cicadas continued to buzz and the unrelenting sun shimmered all around me, depriving me of focus and making recovery seem all but impossible.

Cracked clay

Like the way my weird mind works? Then you’ll enjoy my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

Gently Down the Stream

Row, row, Row your boat…

Ugh. I have a cold. And it’s a weird one. No stuffy nose. No fever. A sore throat for about 20 minutes. Then, chest congestion and coughing, coughing, coughing for weeks. And the worst part: vertigo.

The ground seems to be rolling like a storm-tossed sea. And whenever I turn to look at something, the rest of the planet seems to lag about a second and a half behind me. It’s messing with my head. I can’t think straight. I can’t focus. I can’t blog. And I’m tired. I’m so very tired.

And yet, here I am, at work. In a stupor. And my ever-lengthening personal to-do list is a source of anxiety. I feel like I’m not keeping up with my end of the marriage. All I want to do is sleep.

And, is it a full moon? It must be. Because everything is weird. I feel like no one, including my computer, is understanding anything I say. I’m struggling to make myself clear. And people are acting strange. No. It’s not a full moon. In fact, we’re approaching a new moon. Oh, who cares? Nothing seems real.

It’s raining. A jeep stalls on my drawbridge, backing up traffic. I call a tow truck.

Did I call the tow truck? I remember calling someone… I think I called a tow truck. Oh. Here comes the tow truck. Somebody must have called a tow truck. But is it the tow truck I called? Should I call off my tow truck? Screw it. They’ll figure it out.

It’s time to go home. I shouldn’t be driving. But I want to go home. My socks are wet. How did my socks get wet? Now my feet feel all clammy. Cough.

Yay. I made it home. The dogs are happy to see me. I feel like I’m in the eye of a puppy hurricane. I’m not sure, but I think one or two of them even levitated for a minute there. I let them out to do their business. I’m glad someone is taking care of business.

My husband is off finding us a replacement car for the one that got totaled a few weeks ago by an unrepentant idiot. I should be helping. I can’t even seem to help myself.

I let the dogs back in, and I head for bed, peeling my wet socks off my feet along the way. No human being can hug you as good as your mattress can. Finally, I can go to sleep.

Except, no. I can’t. I have to pee. Groan.

I get up. I head for the bathroom. I trip over one of the dogs and land flat on my face in the hallway. It’s the only thing I’ve done all day that doesn’t seem to be in slow motion.

My back. I wrenched my back. God, but it hurts.

Fuck my life.

I get up. Slowly. Carefully.

The dog refuses to apologize.

I go into the bathroom. I pee. I decide to take a leftover pain pill from a previous klutzy escapade as a preemptive strike for the back pain that’s headed my way. It’s hard core. It’s heavy duty. Don’t try this at home.

I crawl back into bed and sleep overtakes me.

Gently down the stream…

My dreams are the stuff of a Dali painting. But I don’t care. I’m asleep.

Until about midnight, when I hear my husband letting the dogs out. I’m sure he’s been home for many hours. I get up.

My back feels okay. My feet are dry. I’m warm. I’m home. I’m not as dizzy as I was. I still have the cough, but hey… progress. I’ll take it.

I putter cautiously into the kitchen, where my husband stands at the door, waiting for the dogs. I snuggle into his arms.

“Is this a dream?” I say, sleepily.

Because everything is so good. I love my life now. I love my husband. I love my dogs. I love my house. I love my job. Everything is just so freaking good.

“No,” he whispers. “You’re awake.”

“Thank you for being real.” I say. And I go back to bed.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream…

Now, if I could just get past this cold.

row your boat

Like the way my weird mind works? Then you’ll enjoy my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

 

 

A Fever of Stingrays

I just heard on the radio that a group of stingrays is called a “fever”. I don’t know why, but that just makes me really happy. I love how creative our language can be.

But it makes you wonder, who got to decide the “official” name for each grouping of animals? Was it a person? A committee? If so, that had to be the most delightful job in the world. (I think that’s the only occupation that’s cooler than my own.)

I can just imagine some people sitting around a table in silence, and then one of them perks up and says, “I know! Let’s call it a Tower of Giraffes!”

After general chuckling, someone else says, “Motion carried!”

Brilliant. And it’s quite obvious that this person or group had a lovely sense of humor. How else would they come up with a Confusion of Guinea Fowl or an Intrusion of Cockroaches? How about a Rhumba of Rattlesnakes? A Wisdom of Wombats?

I feel like jumping on the bandwagon, so I am coining a phrase that I can’t seem to find anywhere on the internet. Let it be known throughout the land that henceforth a group of Bloggers shall be called a Rambling.

A Rambling of Bloggers. Yup. I quite like that.

stingray

I’b Sigck :(

Two hours before quitting time on Friday I get this tickle in my throat. You know the one. That little portent of doom that will soon take over your whole world, and you can’t do anything about it.

I had such plans. The weather was going to be great. I was going to take the dogs to an off leash park. I was going to sit in the back yard and soak up the sun. I even contemplated washing the car.

On the way home I stopped at the pharmacy for orange juice, ibuprofen and Nyquil. Supplies for the coming siege. Get them now or not at all. That’s one of the sucky things about being single. By the time I got home I had a fever.

 cold

I spent the entire weekend flat on my back, except when the dogs insisted on being fed. Heartless bastards. But I must say they kept me company during my frequent hot baths. “Why is mommy trying to boil herself?” “And who will feed us if she drowns?” they said to each other with looks of great concern as they kept the bathmat warm and listened to my moans.

I encased myself in flannel. I had strange dreams. You know your snoring is bad when it even wakes you up. My nostrils slammed shut. I contemplated marrying my Neti Pot, but then I realized my last name would then be Pot, and that would never do.

The worst part about it is that I didn’t like the person who gave me this cold even before she gave it to me. Will the abuse never end? Honestly.

I have vague memories of talking to a friend who tried to calmly explain to me why boiling my head in a vat of chicken soup would be a bad idea. “The soup is supposed to go in you. You’re not supposed to go in the soup.” It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Times like these, I really miss my mother. She was great when I was sick. I want sympathy. I turn into a whiny brat when I’m feeling punk. Sniffle. I need a hug.

head-cold3

[Image credit: jnassi.com]

Awkward Information

One time I had a 103 degree fever so I went to the doctor. On the way there I had stop at a very busy gas station to fill my tank. When I arrived at the doctor’s office I signed in at the front desk. Then I waited for an obscene amount of time in an extremely crowded waiting room. After I’d seen the doctor, she sent me down the hall to get a blood test. While drawing my blood, the lab technician said, “Hon, you have toothpaste on your chin.”

Sure enough, I had a neon green glob, the size of a pea, right there for all the world to see. And for all intents and purposes, the whole world HAD seen it. I must have come face to face with at least 50 people that morning between the gas station and the waiting room, and none of them had the courage and/or desire to inform me that in my fever-soaked delirium I had not done a very good job of brushing my teeth.

And why is that? Did they think this was some kind of fashion statement and I would be insulted if they drew attention to it? I can’t relate to that at all. I won’t hesitate to tell you if your fly is down, or if you have a blue paint on the end of your nose, or if your hair is sticking straight up. Yeah, it’s a bit awkward for a split second, but I know that I would want to know if the situation were reversed.

Some information is a little harder to impart, such as when someone has really bad breath or body odor, or if the crack of one’s behind is on display. I have to admit that even I tend to hesitate in those situations. But if I can figure out a way to handle it discretely, I’ll still make the effort.

Some things I’d only tell people with whom I’m extremely close. For example, “Your husband is having an affair,” or “That guy you’re about to go into business with is a binge drinker in the middle of a particularly nasty lawsuit for embezzlement.” People have a right to make their own choices and live their own lives, but I’d like to think that I would help my loved ones make informed decisions.

And there are still other things that are better left unsaid. Those bits of information fall into the realm of opinion. For example, I’d never say, “Mary, some colors should never be worn together, and those two definitely fall within that realm,” or “Your hairdo is straight out of the 1970’s. Haven’t you noticed that you are the only one on the planet with hair that style? There’s a reason for that,” or “I don’t think it’s a good idea to buy your wife a vacuum cleaner for your golden wedding anniversary.”

But for what it’s worth, if you see me walking down the street and my shirt is inside out, I’d really like to know. Thanks in advance.

Since I really do think that every once in a while you deserve an extra treat, I’ll leave you with a poem I had to recite in high school.

To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady’s Bonnet at Church

by Robert Burns

burns

I’m Going Slightly Mad

I’ve got another cold. I’m feverish, and I suspect I’m hallucinating, so I apologize in advance for whatever I write today. Combine that with the fact that I’ve been looking at a summary of the search terms that people have used to find my blog, and having quite a giggle over that. Why did the following search terms bring you to me, dear readers? I have no idea.

  • range rental of rant stable apt
  • coole account bilder psychedelisch
  • stupidity
  • the book something girl reality-based
  • walmart sucks the soul out of you

Okay, so I’m trying not to take the “stupidity” one personally. And on top of all of that, I just got through watching the movie Contagion. Don’t ask me why. But in it one of the characters says, “Blogging is not writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation. “

So…hallucinating…weird search terms….graffiti…are you following me? Probably not. But from that muddled mental soup I got the idea that it would be kind of fun to write a surreal paragraph that would bring me an unexpected readership. So here goes:

Nuclear war is the broccoli and cheese soup of the Elizabethan Era. Labradoodles often breed anarchy amongst Croatian Cosmonauts. The porcupines of Greenland are constantly mistaken for barbed wire handbags. The robots of Kuala Lumpur toil vigorously in the Martian vineyards. Classic mustangs carry swine flu in Tamar Braxton’s panties. Daylight savings time accosted Justin Timberlake in the Australian outback. Barack Obama eats boysenberry aspic on melba toast while doing the watusi in a frothy silk kimono.

And that’s all I have to say about that, Forrest Gump.

hallu (Credit: Wallpaperscraft.com)