Saturday, January 5, 2013


When I was a kid, my mom came to the rescue. I seemed to get a lot of fevers and suffered hallucinations about chairs turning into demented woodsmen.

During my last year of university, I flew with three friends to Puerto Vallarta for spring break. I got whacked out ill the second night and didn’t realize the hotel maid was coming in and sponging me down every couple of hours.

When I was in relationships, those moments of sickness brought out the best in the partner. True love may be spending five hours on a home-cooked meal, but truer love surfaces when you have to clean your partner’s vomit or they calmly tolerate the fact I’m being a wuss.  Classic sitcoms always had a tiny bell that the sick mate would jingle incessantly, asking for more honey in the tea, a fluffed up pillow or an adjustment to the TV volume (because reaching two feet was too arduous).

In truth, I don’t get sick much anymore.  Haven’t vomited in twenty years.  I tend to push right through colds. There is no one around letting me wallow a few days in bed. Unfortunately, two days ago, I got hit with a migraine, a potent cough, the shivers and the sweats.  The symptoms continue.  My head goes in and out of cloudy states and naps come every half hour.

This is when having a partner would be so appreciated. I needed to pick up soup and Tylenol in town yesterday and it took me six hours to get in the car and drive. At the checkout, I didn’t realize I was shaking as the elderly couple in front of me casually debated whether they wanted their goods in two bags or one.  It was the clerk who noticed my behavior.  “Are you all right?”  She startled me, but it was nice to hear a stranger express a concern. 

Sick and alone, there is no one but me to take the dog out.  He’s all for joining me for the extra naps on the pile of extra blankets, but those puppy dog eyes are relentless when he decides it is time to piddle.  The house has gone from reasonably tidy to an image from one of those hoarders TV shows. Who pulled all this stuff out?  Ice cream maker?!  Clearly an inexplicable action in a moment of acute cloudiness.

I’ll get through this minor illness.  (Naturally, it comes during my vacation.)  I’ll leave the scattered towels and magazines for next weekend when I’m fully recovered.  I’ll go back to appreciating my independence instead of seeing it as a handicap.  But oh how I’d fancy someone right now tossing the piles of Kleenexes in the trash, lying beside me, fearless over catching what I’ve got and fetching me that cup of tea.  Of course, I’m out of honey and I can’t muster another trip into town.

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