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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Fever dreams

I've had the flu all week; it crept up on me, after staying out till 2 on Thursday, wandering off without a coat Saturday night, the coldest night of the winter. At first I thought it was just a cough, an allergy. In fact I went for a hike on Sunday, in defiance of what my body was trying to say.

But it finally caught up with me, and all the tea with honey could not help me stand up or drive down to finish a project for work. I slept 10-12-15 hours a day, inhaled decongestants, salt sprays, cough drops, and now and then a piece of fruit. One night I made lemonade with maple syrup and bourbon. All of this alone with a needy cat (fortunately when he's out of food, he comes and cries--otherwise he would suffer the same fate as my plants).

The last few nights, I've been running fevers in the midst of all those weird dreams--past loves, this morning one where Bill Clinton was shot in the leg (in Gaza?), a gang member with earrings made of fingers of people he had killed. When I woke this morning, my sheets were soaked, as if all the fears were leaking from my subconscious. The thermometer doesn't register any of this.

The fevers take me to this terrible basic state: shivering, longing, helpless. It was no better to be sick as a child; my mother might bring soup and aspirin, but she was not indulgent and generally suggested I stay in my room. At least now I have the full range of my house. (And what am I reading in the overstuffed chair in the living room? The Fortress of Solitude! Silly girl.) At least my skin is dewy from all the liquids.

I'm just starting to feel better, even considering an easy trip to the gym. But my voice is still gone. And it's human company I yearn for after days and nights of isolation.

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