Usually, you like living alone. You like your own space, and knowing that if you put leftover Chinese food in the fridge overnight that it will be there for you to take to work as lunch in the morning.
But when you’re sick, it’s a whole other story. And yesterday was bad. Not tsunami bad. But having-a-fever-and-living-alone kind of bad.
You long for a roommate to check in on you. You call your mother to tell her you’re sick even though she can’t do anything about it except worry and tell you to eat chicken soup. You end up calling your brother to ask him to run errands for you—even though he’s glad to help, you feel like you’re imposing.
You lie in bed, waiting for sleep. You drift in and out of consciousness and are unsure which state you prefer. You try to keep hydrated, but the bottle of water that’s in your bed starts to leak, gurgling softly until you notice the sound more than the fact that there’s a river running through your bed. Your bed needs dry-out time, so you move to the couch for movie-time. Dodgeball makes you laugh a few times, but you’re still uncomfortable.
You make your deadline, even though the column isn’t your most coherent. You try to watch TV from a reclined on your side in your newly-dry bed position, and discover that sideways Will and Grace makes you dizzy. Your brother arrives, toting the chicken soup, Gatorade and regular Coke that you asked for, in addition to a lovely bunch of tulips that you didn’t ask for, but that brightens up your wintry apartment and proves you were a good older sister.
You try vertical again, and the resultant head rush almost knocks you off your unsteady feet. You heat up the soup and eat it while you watch “Shaun of the Dead.” During a bathroom break, you look at yourself in the mirror and see a slack-jawed face, vacant eyes and your staggering walk, and your realize you’re not wholly unzombie-like yourself. You watch “Medium,” and wonder how anyone as normal seeming as Patricia Arquette tolerated the wacky antics of Nicolas Cage, and then you remember that she’s also related to David Arquette, which explains a lot.
You take the Nyquil, knowing that it will put you out of your misery. Your eyes droop, and you can’t even stay up to see Jon Stewart. And then, while you sleep, you float through a cherry red haze, and dream dreams that make no sense at all, like running into your old camp friends in a Target as they’re shopping for clothes to wear to the D.C. wedding of your first crush who’s already married, a rabbi, and working at Yeshiva University. And in the dream-within-a-dream, there are certainly zombies who play dodgeball.
The next day, things are better. Muscle aches still assertively present, but also duller and more tolerable. You begin to get back to normal. You go to work, and start reading the news on the Internet. You discover that certain drug companies are trying to restrict the sale of Nyquil because it can be used in manufacturing methamphetamines. You read more about Prince Harry and the swastika. You get one email letting you know that (yet) another friend had a baby and another email confirming an upcoming gig in Chicago…you wait for the rest of the chicken soup to thaw for lunch, and swallow it with a Tylenol chaser. You begin to set goals—write about Saturday night’s blogger bash, get started on one of your humongous freelance jobs, finish up old business with clients, pay your bills—everything that you were too foggy-headed to do yesterday.
This day is going to be better.