Note to self: always wash hand towels that you buy from a bargain basket at Fred Meyer’s before using them, or else you will wake up at 4 a.m. simultaneously sweating and shivering, and you will have to use an actual sick day.
While I don’t enjoy being sick, I love taking sick days. I do not think I abuse this privilege of being a public school employee; however, it is definitely a relief, not having to present a doctor’s note before the front office ladies each time.
On weekends, there is too much pressure to perform. On sick days it’s blasphemous to do anything but lounge around your apartment, every few hours heating up water and popping ibuprofen between much-relished, mostly unnecessary trips across the parking lot to the barren laundry room.
When you don’t live with your mother, turning ill becomes a wonderful masquerade of impulses.
You stop drinking, but you start downing nightly double-doses of Nyquil for a week.
You curse yourself for not exercising and eating poorly, then stock up on canned soups and refuse to go jogging at the slightest tingle of chill on your nose.
You buy a bunch of cleaning products and hand towels and candles, but forget that hundreds of people have been fondling them and pressing their noses against the plastic that covers the cinnabon-scented wax.
During the second hour of my morning Skyrim session I realized that I am almost out of orange juice – O, how am I going to get my vitamin C??
Then I realized that I could literally drive two minutes and buy so much orange juice. I could buy eight gallons of orange juice if I want to; I could walk a few short blocks and buy a whole quart of peppermint extract that will last me six long winters, and in a month’s time peep at my bank statement and not bat an eye.
Naturally, the irony is that I went on one of those trips, and through my negligence ended up sicker than I wanted to be (don’t worry, gang, I am a-ok now!)
Irony is appropriate, though, as we like to think of our adult experiences as more nuanced than our childhood, when we would drink Steak-n-Shake milkshakes and eat Costco pizza all day before our grandmother’s memorial service, where we’d continue to indulge on a nostalgic buffet of jell-o salad and cube steaks and end up spending the entire Thanksgiving holiday in the basement of our aunt’s townhouse on the shitter, clutching our stomachs and emitting the yet-unrecognized but intensely familiar flavors of barley and alkali from between our teeth, so grateful for the excuses of pre-prepubescence even as the newly formed fear of a first sexual experience intensifies with the revelation that we will have to shut off our assholes long enough for the presumable girl-of-our-dreams to forgive our uncircumcised members and fall in love with not who we are but what she sees in us by course of her particular and absolutely necessary fantasy of shunning all other men in the world at that moment and wholly embracing us and our hyperactive, inconsolable bowels–
Oh wait, sorry, that’s just me.