Thursday, December 2, 2010

Life in a Northern Town

Oh okay, so it's 6pm and completely dark outside. I love that. I mean, it's nice to be reminded that planetary mechanisms are still functioning, and the solar system is still rotating properly. Also, it's only for a little bit. It's a count down. In 19 days, we'll hit the peak and then everything will get lighter again. That's reassuring, right? Can't you enjoy it knowing it won't last?

December 1st brought snow with it, which was cute. It didn't stick, because generally where I live, we don't get anything major until January, because of our awesome gigantic inland sea. It meant that the downstairs neighbors turned the heat up though, which is also nice.

I've been sick since Tuesday. I was totally fine Monday night, dinner ect, but then I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever. Having a fever when you're single and live by yourself is both scary and comforting. I really like being able to be as sick and disgusting as I want with no one watching me. If I want to watch an entire marathon of Law and Order UK, so be it. If I want to watch PBS kids shows, no one is judging. If I start to smell of fermented menthol and dried spit, I don't have to worry about my sex appeal. But all of this also means I could easily die of a rupture appendicitis and no one would know for days. Weeks maybe even.

What sucks the most is the inevitable trip to the store for supplies. First, I did nothing for two days. I slept in my bathrobe. I ate nothing Tuesday, and then cold pizza and bagels yesterday when the fever broke. I was in that super sick coma, where you're not really coughing yet, you just exist in this muffled dimension of frozen ache. But today, I did get myself up for work and that meant the mucus got moving and I needed tissues, cough medicine, soup, tea, oranges, ect. I work from home, so when I say I got up, it means barely and yes, still in the bathrobe. But no matter how ill I am, I am not going to the grocery store in PJS. So I threw on my fake uggs, and three layers of sweaters, brushed my hair a little, and drove spacey eyed to Giant Eagle.

I hate going into stores when I'm sick. I feel nothing but guilt. Guilt for breathing, guilt for touching things, guilt for obviously looking like Patient Zero as my basket fills up with mucinex and chicken noodle soup, pickles, saltines and tissue boxes. Everyone gives you that look of "what are you doing out of your house! Why isn't someone else doing this for you, someone who isn't infected with nasty oozy viruses?" Look, if I had someone to do this for me, I would. I am sorry. I am sorry I am sick. I am sorry I am single. I am sorry that I use the same grocery store as you. I am sorry that I sound like an elk barking. I apologized to the poor register clerk who had to listen to me coughing my guts out as she tried to ring out the clementines. "I swear, I'm trying to only use one hand to do stuff, and cough into the other." She told me to feel better, but I could feel the fear in her face.

What surprises me every time I get ill is my lung capacity. I have so much of it. I usually don't start coughing until I start to get better, but then the coughing becomes it's own mega awfulness. I cough like a fucking opera singer. Super deep and loud and clear. It's insane. If it wasn't so reminiscent of tuberculosis, I might be proud of my cough even. Last year, when I got a cold and was still working in the office, people were shocked by my cough, but we were also in a converted warehouse, so the sound would echo, resonate. This year, luckily, I don't have to watch any co-workers run over to exclaim over it, like it's some sort of freak talent, like twisting my head around 360 degrees.

I think the lung capacity is only being heightened by the fact I haven't had a cigarette at all since Monday night. My lungs are furious at me. No better time to try and quit then when your head is a giant rubber balloon, inside another balloon, inside another balloon. All I want to do is watch Indiana Jones and throw pennies for the cat to chase, and not move for at least another 8 hours while it snows and stays very dark, and every once in a while the heater kicks on low in the background.


  1. It was the scallop. I blame the scallop. It's always the fucking scallop.

  2. I'm pretty sure it was not the scallop.


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