duck-shaped pain

2000-10-20
Where I Am Petty And Nasty

I can always tell when I'm getting sick or about to get sick. My mind fogs up, my sinuses clench up into a tiny, bitter, leaking ball, and when I go to the grocery store, the only things that appeal to me are every leafy green in the produce department and graham crackers. I never end up buying any of these things (unfortunate spinach will cure what ails you), but I get semi-obsessed with them all the same.

I started to feel crappy yesterday afternoon. This was not a surprise many people around me have been sick lately, and I've been completely stressed out and not eating properly, making me Target A for any germs searching for a new host.

So I left work early yesterday, came home, wrote the biscuits and gravy entry and then fell into the deepest sleep I may have ever slept, at least lately. Said sleep would have been fantastic if I had slept in a bed; instead, I fell asleep in the desk chair in front of the computer. Painful and embarrassing, all in one.

After waking up, untangling myself and getting mentally prepared to stand up and walk again., I went to the grocery store, home of kale and crackers. I wanted to get the makings for a decent batch of Sick Soup, since I was out.

Being sick brings out the worst in me: I get weepy easily, I often inch too close to being completely pathetic, I get righteously passive-aggressive. The small part of me that compiles lists of enemies in my mind also gets activated. And everyone at the grocery store last night was on that list.

For no good reason, of course. Everyone was just doing something -- whether going too slowly or buying decaffeinated coffee or standing between me and the bagels to piss me off. I was especially fixated on this one woman (who I'm sure is essentially a good person and someone I wouldn't have noticed on a non-sick day) who registered on every possible level of I Hate You, Anonymous Shopper. She wore a dress emblazoned with big, sparkly limes, covered with a tiny white cropped linen jacket. She had not one nor two but three ponytails: one in the very back of her head, one proudly holding the middle together, and one on the very top of her head. Did I mention the crimped hair? I bet not. She opened up doors in the freezer section and just stood there staring at their contents, one door after another, all the way down the case. Of all the possible yogurt flavors, she only bought apple. Of all the possible juice flavors, she only selected "berry punch." I could go on, but after while, I actively tried to avoid her. Had she spoken, I'm sure she would have had a squeaky voice or used the word "liason" repeatedly in a sentence.


I stayed home today. I had to: for some reason, I didn't fall asleep until 4:30 a.m. this morning. Which is fine if that's your goal, but when you desperately want to do nothing but sleep, it's a little annoying.

Sick soup was good, better than usual. My friend S. called to tell me he had been canned from his job. Not a lot of surprise or regret on his end. He was dealing with it in the best way he knew how, but listening to his copy of Safe As Milk over and over again. [1]

Finally, I got to sleep and woke up about 1 this afternoon. I felt awesome: sleeping until one on a weekday when one is supposed to be at work will do that to you. Both coffee and Unscheduled Fun taste sweeter in the afternoon, you know.


[1] The only real "tragedy" involved in S.'s leaving his job, if there is any, is that he will not be working with this one guy named T. anymore. I did not know about the presence of T. at his job until recently, when I was talking to him and he mentioned that "Hey, I work with this guy who is from your hometown." I started to point out that not everyone from my town knows everyone else (it only seems that way) until he mentioned this guy's first name. It's both uncommon and dumb, and I recognized him. I started to ask questions about this guy. Does he have unfortunate, Brillo-pad-like hair? Check. Dumb laugh? Check. Complete disregard for other's personal space? Check. Fey mannerisms? Check. Half-giddy, half-nauseated grin? Check. I knew then that it was the same T. I knew, who was the younger brother of someone I was good friends with in high school. It was an odd moment, to say the least. The thing is, I was about to tell S. some disturbing story of my own, but after that, I couldn't remember it. It would have paled in comparison, anyway.

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