Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Laid low, no chariot

Something is rotten in the state of my house, and it is not well camouflaged by the piles of dirty Kleenex and empty baby ibuprofen bottles. We have been laid low, good and proper, thoroughly asskicked by a tiny wee thing, supervirus to us a common cold to you. So why should this thing be thought of as common? It is actually uncommon to breathe like a freight train, to whistle and sigh with each tiny movement of one's body, and most uncommon of all is the way the feverish brain works so differently. I remember reading Katherine Anne Porter's famous Pale Horse, Pale Rider as a child and almost wanting to get the honest to God Spanish 'flu, so I could be so moved and entertained by feverish thoughts. At the same time of course, I was going through puberty and having romantic notions of what might come to pass in my life, if I ever grew up and got some pubic hair. I thought it would be something like this: And he came to her as in a dream, floating into her room with his eyes so focused on her that there could be no other purpose in life than to hold her, touch her, gaze upon her face. He swept her into his arms and . . . but really my fever thoughts are more like "purple, hey purple. Dogs like ice cream and isn't that a fast kind of car and where do the pillows go when they leave my head? Am I falling? I smell flowers, flowers, flowers or no that's more medicine and sickly sweet NO NO NO, and hey, purple . . . pale horse pale rider wait WAIT WAIT isn't that a metaphor for death?? and hey, a lot of time has passed hasn't it? No? Oh, maybe I am asleep. No. I can't be asleep, I am thinking too many thoughts to be asleep, right self? Isn't someone coming soon with some sorbet to spoon into my mouth?" I hope my baby doesn't go through any of that but I bet she is tired of having me sneak up on her with bottles of breast milk that we sneak into her mouth while sleeping so she won't know its happening. Surprise! Who needs hallucinogenics when you can have infancy and a fever at the same time!!

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