Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Idling at the curb in front of Death's house

No longer at Death's door, but.

I was all set to blog my trip to New York, and be all effusive and ebullient about bagels and turnstiles and chocolates on my pillow in The Greatest City in the World...but halfway through, I got sick. Dog-sick, want-your-mommy sick, as sick as I've been since I was a little kid. I crawled under the schmancy bajillion-thread-count comforter fully clothed and shivered. I ordered a $28 hamburger from room service and ended up thrusting it back into the hallway. I forced myself on a death march through art museums, where, hopped up on enough cold medicine, Kandinsky makes all kinds of sense and everything strongly resembles Van Gogh's Starry Night. And I am sorry, fellow travelers, for being That Person on the plane home: the woman slugging back Duane Reade-brand cherry Nyte-Tyme straight from the bottle and collecting the furious glares of other passengers. As we descended over Seattle, I thought the plates of my skull might separate from the pressure. Crashing, I thought, might not be so bad; at least I would no longer feel like this.

Here's how sick I was: every year for nearly a decade now, I've hosted an Oscar party replete with junk food and howling at the television. I did it last year, when my guests all had to sit on moving boxes. This year, I canceled it. And WENT TO BED. I did not even WATCH. I was too sick even to be sad about it.

Here's how sick I was: I went to the DOCTOR. I'm part of an endless line of hardy prairie stock, staunch women known for sucking on kerosene-soaked sugar lumps for a sore throat, for birthing babies in under five hours, for saying "oh, it's just a cracked rib, put some tape on it." I went to the doctor and had to describe the color and quality of my mucus in detail for my file. (At one point, I had crap coming out of MY EYES, virtually every hole in my head engaged in the battle.) The doctor ruled out strep, advised me "Rest. Tylenol. Gargle. Hot compresses," which I hope was not the high point of her twelve years of schooling.

I am better. I am not at 100%, but I'm better. Well enough to work, alas. I'm a bit snuffly, and my ears are still stopped up; my head feels sort of like a half-full novelty mug. When I lean over I can feel everything gloomp and sloosh around in there.

But, like I said, half-full. Ever the optimist.

New York stories are forthcoming, I promise.

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