Why do you hate everyone when your sick? It could be that you’re simply jealous of their health. Or maybe it’s their unsympathetic possessiveness of your symptoms and solutions to such. You often hear of another’s plight under the same ailment, only how much worse it was or is going to get. There’s also the blatant fact that your life has been suspended with the accoutre ma of discomfort. It’s a whirl wind of social aggregates that you’re unprepared to reckon with.
I began feeling like shit Sunday afternoon while on the way up to the local mountains with my family. It’d been a chaotic past two weeks of rallying and the holidays first familial obligation woke me up in the form of a text while I was face down on Robby’s couch (for the second night in a row). “Mom and Dad want you home soon so we can go shoot bow and arrows.” My sister always mitigates these things, for better or for worse, and my time had come. I arose with heavy head, poured out the empties, and pushed the furniture around a bit. En route I smoked my second to last cigarette. We quarreled then laughed, deciding exercise and long drives weren’t in order. So Blue Jay it would be. From home we drove 30 miles of the way to realize we couldn’t make it there on our tank. Reverse, drive, faster. On the road again with flaming hot Cheetos and Arnold Palmer in hand. This is where nausea sets in. The windy roads with the obtuseness of family sunk me deep into my seat as I awaited release into the woods. Once there we ate, drank, and walked. I smoked one last cigarette with jess on a bald lookout. All of it was emotional and some of it even torturous. I visited good old Frank Cruze’s memorial placard up a hill with my sister and mother puffing behind me. I always wondered what kind of man he was to deserve such immortalization. On our way back to the car I picked some sage for some smudges, and it’d be the last time I felt normal enough. A pain developed in my ear as my right tonsil swelled up. A fever took hold and the aches of any sickness followed suit. It was a barrage, a good old fashioned blitz krieg of body against pompous mind. Once home I wobbled my way up the stairs, burrito’ed myself in three blankets and sulked until morning.
It eventually came but first I must tell you of the night. I watched a movie on Netflix titled IP Man which dealt with honorable Chinese resistance amidst the Japanese invasion of WWII + shit tons of unrealistic kung fu. It kinda sucked and subtitles were a bad choice. In any case, I attempted to sleep off what I hoped was a one night fever to find myself immersed in a full blown, waking hallucination. It primarily dealt with how pant production plummeted in wartime and how a man in need of good pants was at a loss on either side of the conflict. What the fuck, right? I wake up in cold sweats to midday sun and beckon my sister to make an appointment with the doctor. I’ve also come to find that my sister’s anti-consumer secret santa plan has crashed and burned. This leaves me literally no time to remedy my scroogness and I am still having trouble eating anything. To top off the less than 20 hour debacle another symptom occurs: bright red, elevated, and circular rashes have formed on my right bicep. Im still in pain, I have but one present, cant swallow without cringing, and now think I have the plague.
Kaiser gets me in, pokes around for 2 minutes, and after 35 minutes of waiting the doctor re-enters to tell me the test was positive for strep throat with the red dots potentially being a sign of rheumatic fever, and that my heart could be at risk if I don’t feel better in three days. Get pills, go home, burrito.
I write this on Christmas night, the third day of the amoxicillin. Right tonsil has shrunk but the left has porked up. I just took a bath and saw light/color traces of everything that I moved (imagine me naked as a baby waving three fingers in front of my face). My four best friends from high school are getting drunk and avoiding contact to my disease. My sister is driving the shit out of my car, no doubt the pay off for nursing me the last four days. My parents asleep and brother with his new family. And I cant even smoke cigarettes. Boy does this suck.
I hated Christmas long before this one. It’s a consumerist, material frenzy painted in hypocritical religious meaning that only further disperses the feuding classes against one another. It’s inaccurate in its claim, creates obligations people dread, and is set in a context of universality that is incongruous with most of the world. It propels poverty, miserable conditions across all modes of production, and sweeps such suffering under the rugs of nation’s who know not what X-Mas is. Despite it all, it’s a time for family, friendship, and comradeship. And although I’m stuck at home, sweating, writing a hate piece on my current condition and perspective of the world I recognize this. So merry Christmas. Enjoy the time with your loved ones. You don’t know how much you’ll miss them until you get strep throat. 🙂