Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday 13th

I am a very delicate flower. My immune system is like one of those rare and pathetic orchids that need to be misted with a tepid vapor exactly every 13 and a half minutes or else it develops a sort of putrid fungus rot. My grandmother Virginia is the same way. If she's within a barge pole's reach of someone with a tickly throat, she'll have the walking pneumonia by Wednesday. One time when I was at summer camp, I got sick and Virginia had to pick me up. She brought a supply of coffee filters and made me sit in the back seat of her Cadillac and hold a double layer of filters over my nose and mouth the whole way home. I used to think she was being dramatic, but now I think I would probably have done the same thing in her place. Bryan thinks I'm turning into Virginia. Time will tell, but meanwhile, I've got my own problems.

I woke up this morning at 7:15 with Odessa clawing a hole through my bottom lip and sucking on the end of my nose. I had just begun the process of dislodging a piece of her wee fingernail from my gum, when I tried to swallow and it hurt. That's when I became certain I had Strep throat.

I have two recurring nightmares. One is that the one guy who ever broke up with me (back in 1997) is mocking me in front of a bunch of pedestrians on a street in Manhattan and they're all smirking, but I can't understand what he's saying because he's speaking German or perhaps Dutch. The other is that I have Strep throat. There's a special burniness that goes along with Strep that unsettles me in a deep and profound way. I think that's probably what it feels like to have leprosy.

Anyway, in case you're interested, I don't have Strep throat. I just went back to sleep and felt fine when I woke up again. But what I'm afraid of in my sleep is basically what I'm afraid of when I'm awake: 1. Being made fun of my people who are smarter and thinner than me, and 2. Being sick.

At least I'm not afraid of vampires anymore. That would be tough these days--like being afraid of cell phones.

Happy Friday 13th!

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