Or much of Thursday, for that matter.
Friday? Kinda fuzzy - and not in a good way.
* * * *
It began last Monday. I was sitting in a local coffee shop, and I started to feel funny.
It started with a strange, sudden sensation, a burning sensation, just inside my left nostril. I'd noticed the dry cough earlier in the afternoon; I'd written that off as nothing more than dust from cleaning my desk at work. I was tired, downright physically exhausted.
At first, I thought I was just getting another cold. I can handle colds.
And then I remembered what the sensation meant.
For fuck's sake. I think I'm getting the goddamned flu.
I never get the goddamned flu...
* * * *
I spent most of last week bedridden, feverish, coughing and shivering, courtesy of Madame Influenza.
It's been years since I've been so ill that I couldn't get out of bed, more than 10 years since I last ran a fever above 103 F, 15 years since I last ran a temperature that high for more than a day.
I was teetering between hallucination and slight incoherence for 72 hours straight, with nothing more than acetaminophen / ibuprofen cocktails, cranberry juice, and ice cold yogurt to keep me sane.
At some point my brain went completely haywire - unable to focus or concentrate on anything. For three days, phantoms of long-forgotten memories blended with bits of movies and fragments of books.
My second grade teacher appeared out of the haze, then morphed into that creepy rabbit from Donnie Darko. I flashed back to being 15 and shooting myself in the foot with a nail gun, only in this fevered version I'd shot off my entire foot and flesh-eating zombies, a la George Romero, gnawed on the stump.
I felt seasick and dizzy as passages from Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" played over and over again inside my head. Trust me. There is no worse poem for one to have stuck in a fevered brain than the Rime of the goddamned Ancient Mariner. (HTML version courtesy of the Samuel Taylor Coleridge Archive, Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia.)
At one point, my poor sick brain chose to obsess over the mathematical perfection of the Fibonacci Sequence, for some reason...
And I'd swear that Johnny Ramone rose from the grave just long enough to accuse me of being a communist-- and to make out with the mirage of a psycho ex that I haven't seen in years...
That's all I remember. Three days' worth of life gone, never to return.
I'm not even sure which day was which, actually.
* * * *
Thank goodness I have a decent enough immune system and that I'm in relatively good health most of the time.
The obscure math and literature I can handle. The obscure bits of film imagery melding with memories I can handle. But I don't think I could stomach watching one of my dead guitar heroes making out with T___ again.
Watching it in Fevervision, in vivid widescreen Technicolor, almost made me vomit.
She really did kiss like a bulldog sucks on a porkchop.
* * * *
By the time the fever and the visions had subsided, I started to realize that, well, you know, the whole thing could've (possibly) been avoided with just one trip to the doctor for a flu shot.
Not that I'd actually get one, but I could've gotten one.
Saturday, I celebrated St. Patrick's Day by shaving for the first time in a week, getting dressed, and leaving my apartment for the first time in four days.
The sun was shining, the air crisp and untainted by Madame Influenza. I went grocery shopping, replenished my supply of over-the-counter meds, and bought cigarettes.
And then I returned to my tiny apartment, crawled back into bed, and went to sleep.
In bed by six on a Saturday night. The sun was still shining as I let the nighttime flu medicine carry me away to Sleepyland.
* * * *
It's been one whole week since Madame Influenza decided that she wanted to dance.
We're still dancin', but I'm the one filling out the dance card. I should be back to full strength in the next few days.
I guess I was due for a good reminder that, well, it's the smallest of things in the world, things like viruses and bacteria, protons and neutrons, that truly control the universe.
And those small things, those microscopic titans, can make all of Mankind their bitch whenever they want.
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