It started on Wednesday. I thought I was just hungover from the night before, reckonings the day after the state of our nation told across channels. But the pain shifted, become less vague, more precise, a soreness to the throat, a listlessness setting in, something about to be taken from me, the echoes of footsteps just over that ridge marching this way, the troops on the move toward me. And by the time I got home from work and errands, it was the flu, setting in so fast, pounding headaches, deliriousness, insane body chills, and a feeling very little like what is commonly assumed to be meant by feeling alive.
I have been taking a lot of Theraflu and Nyquil and eating pineapple and smoking weed at night to help me with the sleep since I have been sleeping all day, cold medicine taking me in and out of waking life. I have taken baby steps to pulling myself back into normal reality, meaning leaving not just the house, but my place on the couch where I sweated through blankets and t-shirt after t-shirt, my body sweating so much each night, each morning me wondering where it all comes from, all this sweat, my body trying to boil this thing off, the joy I get from the steamroom only slightly present here - there is that cold sticky shirt, wet, clinging to my skin, already chilly again.
I wonder what the lady at the bodega thinks of me, why she doesn't ask me how I'm feeling, me stopping in there two or three times a day to buy armfuls of cold medicine, plastic containers of diced pineapple, and cartons of orange juice.
But today I have felt much better, enough so that I have decided that this is the last cold medicine I am taking, this Nyquil I just consumed not too long ago, or maybe so long ago, maybe its drowsy-inducing side effects beginning to take effect. And tomorrow the cold will be over and I will try to get back into a busy life. I have decided that this will be. I will go the gym to make up for all this time on the couch and also because I am going to LA in three days and perhaps going there, someplace new with new faces, especially if that place is LA for some reason, there is on my part some desire to look more attractive than I might normally attempt on any said day. I got a haircut. I have clipped my nails. I don't know what date I am preparing for. I think I am going to try to find some new looks tomorrow after working out. This a very gay paragraph I am realizing. Not sure that is a problem, but at some point I am sure I would have been a little bit judgmental about these concerns I am now concerned with.
There is a storm headed this way on Tuesday supposedly. I am hoping this thing moves on a slow path so that my flight is able to take off and leave before this stupid burst of winter comes this way. I have come to really tire of winter now. I have had it with the snow. I don't need to see anymore for another year. I am ready for summer. This batch of flu and feeling insanely chilly for three days, extra miserable, has really made me ready for this winter to end. And so I must escape this city for sunny California for a brief bit, and Weather Gods, please please, think of how much I have sung your praises all those days spent on beaches together, please please do not in any way interfere with my ability to fly away for a brief while into California, dreams of Joan Didion and Joni Mitchell floating all through my head.