I’ve been silent lately, but I can explain. If my self-diagnosis is correct, based on my symptoms of all-encompassing miserable-ness, I am just getting over a brief bout of tuberculosis. I could be wrong. I could possibly be mislabeling my sickness so that I can seize this rare opportunity to make it okay when I tell people that I am their Huckleberry. I am also not a doctor, and when I go to WebMD I tend to get distracted by all the really scary things your apparently normal symptoms could indicate. I think WebMD must be very dangerous for hypochondriacs. And enemies of Osmosis Jones.
I had a couple warning salvos of coughs before the onslaught, and I gave them no heed. O!, was it to my ruin. I’m not sick often. As soon as it started getting really bad, my brain let go of sensibility and started running frantically through all sorts of dismal ‘what-if’ scenarios. I wasn’t really worried until it began to erratically list all the different ways that this could be the beginning of my body shutting down for good. There was this volcanic pressure in my skull; I’m pretty sure a few of my thoughts turned into diamonds. My brain decided that being in my apartment 37 stories in the air somehow created a unique and unforeseeable condition that meant it could/was-absolutely-going-to explode (I was unable to confirm this on WebMD). The chills were terrible, perhaps similar to what your average Rebel would feel upon receiving a sarcastic, threatening Christmas card from Darth Vader, promising him a visit soon. The coughing is cyclical during the day, and constant at night, and is my most faithful symptom. Don’t even get me started on the state of my interior plumbing. The worst part to being sick, I am beginning to think, is that it makes me so self-absorbed that I think if I had a conversation with Narcissus I would make even him feel a bit uncomfortable. (On second thought, I think that face means that he wants me to GO AWAY! GET AWAY FROM MY POND! YOUR COUGHING IS MAKING RIPPLES!!!) I hate that the only things on my mind anywhere I go are 1) where is the nearest bathroom, 2) will this round of coughs deflate one or both lungs, 3) does it look/sound like I have the plague?, 4) could I actually have the plague? 5) I do. I have the plague. Repeat thoughts 1-5 in shuffle, and every now and again mix in 6) find bathroom! FIND BATHROOM! In idle moments all mental energy is used in an internal struggle to prevent me from coughing the plague onto whoever I am talking to, or what they are eating, which might be even more awkward-moment inducing. I wouldn’t know where to go in the conversation after that.
All this goes to say… Shanghai 1, me 0. I believe it is time for the comeback tour, which means… I am going to need to find my leather pants.