I have sick.
I have ick.
As important as pushing fluids, rest, heart-sensitive cold medicine, and the rest of the Get Well Arsenal, is to engage in soothing rituals. We are socialized not to do this in Western culture because we are not allowed to heal ourselves in Western culture. We are either supposed to suck it up and tough it out — beat down the beat-down, or show up at the doctor’s office, open wide, and say Repair Me. No one teaches us to self-soothe.
It’s never too late. No amount is ever too small. Endorphins are Nature’s remedy. And prevention. And maintenance. You get it.
When sick, I dial up the pleasures. I like to watch old movies. I mean really old movies. I break out a special pair of pajamas purchased a full size too big. I feed myself potatoes. I do word puzzles or games–not too hard, it’s supposed to feel like play. I make everything smell good. I leave my cell phone three rooms away from the sofa fort I build with pillows and blankets. And today, I did this taking stock list from the blog of a friend of a friend:
Making: faces at the cat. All I get in return is a blank stare. I assume this is due to overwhelm at my face-making brilliance. It’s just too much. She can’t even.
Cooking: antibodies. I can feel my bloodstream starting to fill with them. They’re rushing around my innards like those frenzied fellows clad in black body suits running around the shadowy edge of the stage to move the scenery and props. Hurry! Intermission is almost over! Act Two: She Gets Better.
Drinking: enough fluids to seriously tax our ancient plumbing.
Reading: this yes ma’am manifesto by Anastasia Amour.
Trawling: for a glimpse of that photo of her (Anastasia’s) size 14 ass in a bikini. Wouldn’t you know it? As soon as I leave social media girls start posting size 14 bikini butts. Dammit.
Wanting: journalists to exercise their American given and guaranteed freedom of expression and freedom of press without being openly threatened by the new boss of America.
Looking: hot as hell.
Deciding: that getting 17 months out of one bottle of shampoo is diamond-level dazzling. I did this. For real. I’m just now running out of shampoo I bought 17 months ago.
Wishing: it felt reasonable to write a blog post detailing how a person can stretch a single bottle of shampoo for 17 months. Because I’d be on that mother.
Enjoying: a real and true lazy Sunday. No guilt. No pressure. Only kindness. My body has done nothing wrong. If love can heal me I can help heal the world.
Waiting: for the fat lady to sing. I hope it’s Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog.
Liking: it when a hard juicy sneeze eliminates the need to blow my nose until my brains come out or cough up yuck. I like it when it all comes out in one fell swoop. One fell achoo. Hurts though. Sometimes efficiency hurts.
Wondering: if that counts as a talent.
Loving: cotton bandannas. We don’t have any Kleenex. Paper towels scratch. Toilet paper is too shreddy for my instruments. I adore these cowboy kerchief snot rags.
Pondering: the likelihood that Zsa Zsa Gabor came back as a lizard. The Chef thought of a question he’d like to ask her so we launched a discussion about communicating with the dead. I was nominated to try to make contact but The Chef said he wouldn’t believe it unless Zsa Zsa actually showed up. The next day a lizard appeared in the dining room. Instead of talking to her he just shooed her out the back door. I happened to be at work or I would have intervened.
Listening: to the neighbor’s Corgi bark. And bark. And bark. And bark. She must have Zsa Zsa treed in one of the crape myrtles.
Considering: myself fortunate if I come back as something better than a lizard. But who knows? Maybe lizard is as good as it gets and Zsa Zsa got the upgrade.
Buying: the stairway to heaven. I mean, I saved all this money on shampoo, so why not?
Hoping: hope is not lost. Which I guess ensures it isn’t.
Marveling: at my husky harlot voice brought on by this plague. Sick sexy sound. Viral vixen. Ask me to say something. Anything. It will sound hot.
Cringing: at my use of the word plague. I probably shouldn’t. I’ve never really had a plague. I’m sure the casual usage of the term is some form of cultural appropriation that we privileged whites of undetermined heritage practice with impunity. Except it’s a good bet I’m related to someone European who survived the Plague. So I can probably claim it.
Needing: a gold star for recessive genes. Seriously. I dodged so many of the worst things by virtue of being born recessive. And I’m a default descendant of Plague survivors. Shower me with default congratulations.
Questioning: can I get reparations because Plague-era physicians believed the illness was caused by the wrath of God?
Smelling: my own bullshit. Well no, that’s bullshit too. My smeller is not working right now. I’m enjoying the sweet release of singular sensory deprivation.
Wearing: an air of contentment.
Noticing: how airy contentment really is. Deep sighs are very airy.
Knowing: laughter is good medicine but it hurts really bad right now and sets off a fresh coughing fit every time I do it. Giggling is better but I worry that I’m not getting a therapeutic dose.
Thinking: about a yoga class I took last week in which the pregnant teacher suggested that men struggle with body image issues too. I asked The Chef, “Do boys have body image issues?” He faked a combination cramp/diarrhea/seizure to get out of the discussion.
Admiring: his tenacity of avoidance but that subject is so not closed, bucko.
Getting: together a list of other boys I could ask about it.
Bookmarking: is something I miss now that most of my books are digital. I’ve got all these bookmarks now and no spines in which to implant them.
Disliking: the assertion that Moscow Mules are not the kind of fluids I’m supposed to push.
Opening: my last can of whoop-ass only to find it expired last summer.
Closing: arguments are always the best part of any lawyer drama.
Feeling: a need for some Barbra Streisand. Guilty pleasures, y’all.
Hearing: my dog obviously yelling at the Corgi to pipe down already. You know he’s telling her, she’s not going to walk me until she feels better. Would you shut up and let her rest!?
Celebrating: my dog is part of my support system.
Pretending: this counts as a blog post about wellness.
Embracing: the end.
— Connie V. Airlift