June 05, 2008
sick, sad

I am finally on the downward slope of an on-again-off-again cold that’s been sapping my will to live something awful. This was the first morning I felt something close to alright, and I credit the decision to climb into a hole and fester as soon as Blake was off with his babydaddy last night. People would call and ask if I needed anything, and my only answer was a rather pathetic ‘no.’ Sure, the house was nearly stripped of groceries and my supper last night was Kraft Dinner that my dad had originally made Blake for lunch, and then left on the stove all afternoon. Sure, my recovery plan consisted of an extended tour of every couch and bed in my house. I was still okay with it.

All it took was a night of festering plus a long snooze to the sweet sounds of Metro Morning. I am back, baby! And just in time to deal with the dishes and the mound of clean, unfolded laundry that threatens to overwhelm my basement. Plus all the end-of-term marking. Uh. Maybe I’m still sick after all.

I was actually doing okay this week until I threw everything to the winds and left town. Preacher’s mom died last weekend, and although I didn’t quite have enough lead time to make it to the funeral, I was able to arrange things on short notice so that Blake would be cared for overnight and I could leave my silly students for the day. On Monday I rushed through my duties, planned frantically for Tuesday, and even wrote a short puff piece for the school newsletter (I am the Queen of the Desperate Department Puff Piece!). As soon as I got home that afternoon, I had just enough time to throw my stuff in the car and go. I had my credit card in case I needed to check into a motel. I had my sleeping bag in case I needed to sleep on my uncle’s grave. I was set.

And although I enjoyed seeing Preacher and Martha and even Palaver (who rented a car to make the funeral ahead of me), and although we had a good night of stories and sips and smoking, it was shot through with melancholy. I’m in for the long haul with these people, and the wonderful thing is that even at these moments of bereavement and loss, there’s still the joy in each other. There’s joy in the witty comeback and the half-remembered anecdote and the unspoken glow of just being there for each other.

But it was all a little much for a delicate flower like myself, and the combination of a late night with moderate (I have witnesses) amounts of alcohol and several serious coughing spells left me in bad shape. The next day, when I went with Martha to start the house clean out, I was in the worst shape I’ve been since the day after Poet’s wedding. Martha first asked if I were pregnant, and then if she should take me to the doctor. Then she asked if I was sure I wasn’t pregnant. (I think people are taking the Casual Darts Tour a little more seriously than I am.) I still worked, though. There’s one thing you can count on about me; I will work through crippling hangovers and fierce chest colds. All in all, I’m pretty sure that I still had the best day of the four of us.

I came back to work on Wednesday, sick as a dog but utterly unable to come up with a lesson plan for a second missed day. “Where were you?” bellowed my rude students. So I told them. “Miss, you ruined my day!!” Yeah. Imagine how I felt.

That night I begged off everything so that I could crawl into a hole and sniffle to myself. Mason tried to help me out, but I was adamant that I needed nothing more than a burrow for myself. But since I clearly wasn't thinking well enough to organize a lunch, I asked him to make me a salad. It was a beautiful salad, so much so that people at work invited themselves to the bowl. They kept apologizing, which made me wonder: how much salad does it look like I can eat? Don't answer that.

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*