Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sick Van Winkle

Jon has been sick lately - he caught a cold and by Tuesday evening of this week he started feeling the symptoms. For the next few days he felt like total shit and I encouraged him to drink lots of water, get extra sleep and to have a positive outlook on his state of health.

By Thursday morning he was feeling better. We joked about how regardless of how sick he gets I very rarely catch it - Strong like Bull, I said, my immune system is like the iron curtain and my body is the Soviet Union in winter.

I went to bed Thursday like it was any other night. I had my soothing ocean wave sounds going, I crashed after having my head on my pillow for 2 minutes and I didn't even stir until I woke 3:30am. I woke up and my throat was raw - like I had been breathing through my wide open mouth all night long. I couldn't breathe through my nose and my head was aching with congestion. I went downstairs to sleep on the couch thinking that there was a chance I could still power through a Friday at work.

By the time Jon woke up at 6:30 I had tossed around on the couch for three hours - as he came down the stairs I moaned in agony. "Are you sick dude?" he asked.

YESSSSS I almost cried. My head pounding, throat still raw despite the three glasses of water I chugged, my sinuses so clogged I wasn't sure a brain aneurysm was far off. I decided to stay home for the day and work when something important came through my email.

I spent the day sleeping. Moaning, crying. Sweating, freezing, aching, and then sleeping some more. Usually when I'm sick I start feeling better by the afternoon, but I only seemed to be getting worse. I bought a thermometer last time I was sick and miserable because when I'm sick the only thing that makes me feel better is a little affirmation: Either the doctor saying "Oh boy I haven't seen something like this in years" OR the sweet beeping sound of a thermometer reassuring you that YES, you are sick enough for a fever - and my aren't you brave?

But no fever. Jon went to a friend's house for awhile and by evening I was feeling even worse. Weepy sick. Will I ever get better, sick.

I started to get desperate. Jon told me to take care of it like Doc Holiday a la Tombstone. "You know, you don't have to drink the whole bottle of whiskey - just take a shot or two - take the edge off". Whiskey. The thought actually made me gag. But I figured I'd either throw up or pass out and either way, I would feel a little bit better, so I took two chest-hair-growing shots and went to bed shortly thereafter. I slept until 2:30am when I got up feeling just as bad as I had earlier (note to self, Doc Holiday is on his deathbed by the end of Tombstone).

I hobbled back down to the couch and took 2 Tylenol-PM. I felt myself drifting slowly back to sleepdom. I was like Max, in Where the Wild Things are...I sailed off through the night and day and in and out of weeks...

And there I was. Walking up a paved hill in a woodsy sort of area. I was by myself in that I was walking alone, but was part of a larger group of people heading in the same direction. Leonardo Dicaprio was there. Being aloof. Keeping to himself. He said something about a kid in line at the grocery store staring at him. He remarked how rude that was. I told him I once asked Jason Lee for his autograph and then regretted it - Leo nodded and kept making his way up the hill. I came to a shortcut that went up and over a non-paved hill with deep rich soil and mossy granite rocks - I took it. I was wearing a sea foam, knee-length skirt that I have never seen before but it was hindering my progress. I got over the shortcut and back on track to find that I was headed towards some sort of upscale celebration. Someone's wedding or lavish birthday party. I was escorted to my seat which was inside a Spanish sort of building with a large open courtyard below visible from all levels. The flowers and the lights were gorgeous. After I ate my meal I remember feeling kind of drunk. I hit up the restroom on the way down to the fairgrounds below.

Fairgrounds? My conscious self asked. Fairgrounds, My dream voice answered.

At the fairgrounds random people I've known throughout life were peppered here and there. Some were running the 50 yard dash on a strange sort of track, racing against a clock. Others wearing costumes that didn't seem to go together, like a yellow bee costume with big pink fairy wings. At some point I ran into Jon who was socializing with an old friend. It was at that moment I remembered that I had left my purse back in the bathroom. But as I looked for it, there seemed to be hundreds of bathrooms to check. All small but clean. I looked for what felt like hours. I knew that Jon was waiting for me. And then as I walked into one room I saw a guy with my purse tucked under his arm and rushing out the room with his girlfriend. When I pointed out that he had my purse his girlfriend attacked me with her purse. They assaulted me and stole my cash out of my wallet.

I don't think I have any cash in my wallet, my conscious self said. Yeah, you did, my dream voice answered.

And then all of the sudden I was in my mom's kitchen. It was all very vivid - the creme colored tiles, the wooden cabinets - the fridge, the bar. My brother was there too. We were talking about the strawberries my mom sent Jon for his birthday - they were almost gone. My brother said "Actually, those were from me". I replied "Oh, its okay, i'll just get some at the farmer's market."

Is there a farmer's market in Mira Mesa? My conscious self asked. Of course there is, my dream voice answered.

And before I knew it I was at that farmer's market. But it felt more like a market in Dar Es Salaam than anything else. It was definitely an African market of some sort. Vendors were selling jewelry- Necklaces with big wooden beads, fabrics, there were large trucks everywhere. I remember thinking that if I could just get to the end of the street I would be back home - Funny how the scenery can change from one block to the next, I thought.

I started to stir like I was Sick Van Winkle slowly waking from a lifetime of sleep. Where was I? Who was I? Is the world the same as it was when I went to sleep? Am I the same as I was when I went to sleep?

By the time I truly woke up it was Noon. I had slept for 13 hours not including the handful of 2-3 hour naps I had taken the previous day. And if you can imagine - I felt almost completely nursed back to health. My appetite was not huge, but the thought of food was not as nauseating. I was low on energy, but that didn't stop me from running some errands and planting a few new plants out front of my house. I just cleaned the kitchen and now I'm sitting on the couch, my former deathbed, plotting my next move.

Come to think of it...a nap doesn't sound half-bad.