It’s the twenty sixth day of Blogtober, and with any luck as you read this I’m still alive.
No, I’m not being that melodramatic. I’ve been told I sometimes milk it when I feel unwell, usually by people who are a bit of a hypochondriac themselves. I don’t know if this happens because it’s a way for them to deny their natures, or if I really am as creepy as Joan Crawford in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? when I feel like crud and need some TLC, as one
victim caregiver accused me of once. The truth lies somewhere between those two poles, probably, maybe 85/15 between their denial and my squealing like Blanche being served a rat when I’m like that…
But I really didn’t want to spend my Sunday waking up fine, then getting a sudden bust of chills that felt colder than the sudden arrival of winter in New York that morning. The nose got stuffy, the headaches came hard and fast, and I could barely keep my head up.
Worse, it was just me and my illness. Susan had left earlier to be with her mom and was gone for the day, and Kiddo had plans to go see a movie with some friends. I was not going to impose myself on my son, especially if this was communicable. It may still be; if so, Susan and James, I am deeply sorry for what you’re going to have a touch of shortly…
(Then again, watching them lose to Indy might have killed me…)
And as I lay dying** there in my bed, I started to ask those questions we start to ask when we think there may not be time left and wonder if we were doing the right thing:
- Was I a good enough husband to my wife? Did we spend too much time arguing about tiny stuff that grated on our nerves when we could have been doing something else?
- Did I provide well enough for my son? With me gone, is he going to be able to go to college with whatever survivor benefits may come his way with my passing?
- Did I leave enough notes that someone could put the last few chapters online for the novel, so that everyone could see the end of the work?
- Will anyone else remember me when I’m gone? And will they say a few good words now and then?
- Three possessions, and you had to punt them away every time? No wonder we’re not seeing the playoffs…
- And why the hell is ARROW still being recorded on the DVR? I thought I removed that from the queue weeks ago…
Well, with those horrible fears and concerns going through my head, I found my inner Jesse Ventura:
Right:, then A hot shower, a few more layers, a few rounds of nasal irrigation-
[yes, that: A little saline solution in boiled water, a squeeze bottle with the nozzle up my nose, resulting in a load of mucus being flushed out the other side of my nose into the sink. Nasty, yes, but very effective in releasing pressure and removing infectious crap from inside you. A hell of a lot more effective than bloodletting, and a lot easier for a lay person to perform…]
-some broth, some citron tea, and before you can say “future governor of Minnesota” ver-r-r-r-r-y sl-l-l-l-o-o-o-o-w-ly, I ended up being functional, well before Susan got home.
And I do what I do every time I get nastily sick: I revisited the notes for that apocalyptic pathogen piece I’ve tooled with. Some people tune their motorcycles, the ones that stay in the back of the garage and never go anywhere; some go to boat shows to walk the decks of cabin cruisers that they keep talking about buying and finding a slip at the marina for, that they never actually get around to purchasing and christening.
Me, I have a general idea of a work that involves a nasty disease and what it does to society at large. And the reason it’s being tooled with as opposed to, actually, written, is the fact that I need to try and work with those elements without owing too much to Stephen King or Rob Kirkman; there are ways to do this, but I need time to get this together.
Provided I live long enough to get around to it…
**Please note that this phrase was typed totally without thinking; I am in no way impinging on the William Faulkner estate, which is suing left and right like crazy as of late; honest mistake, really…