1. Gory Details Re: Pestilence
After two weekend days of hallucinatory fevers and complete incapacitation, I went in to see my doctor on Monday, where it was revealed that I had a severe throat infection of unexpected magnitude. Med students were called in to take a look and marvel at the disgustingness of my pestilence. “Yikes!” they exclaimed. “Ouch!” they said. “Oh my God!” My doctor prescribed, in addition to a stiff round of antibiotics, Percoset(!), to alleviate the Nearly Unbearable Pain of Swallowing. All in all, there were five straight days of fever and utter incoherence. Wednesday was the first day I was able to drink fluids without feeling as if I were pouring battery acid down my gullet. Yesterday was the first day in an entire week that I was able to eat anything that wasn’t an Edy’s fruit popsicle. Last night I had my first real night of non-fevered sleep. Today I really feel like a real human being. I can’t even begin to articulate how amazing it is to feel like something resembling a real person again.
Needless to say, in terms of the end-of-the-semester dismount? I am Deeply. Hugely. Profoundly. Unequivocally. Screwed.
* * *
2. Conversations With My Japanese Mother: Terrible Pestilence Edition
JM: Hey! You don’t call us when get back from your trip. We been waiting, waiting, waiting by phone all day long since you suppose to get back time. No nothing. What’s matter with you?
AH: Sorry. I’m sick. I want to die.
JM: Always you make such big lie excuse. What you sick for?
AH: I don’t know? Because I’m in hell?
JM: [laughing] Yeah, you go straight to hell. That’s what happen when you don’t call when you suppose to.
AH: [mumbling] Yeah, definitely in hell.
JM: So why you so stupid get sick now? You can’t afford be sick! It’s end of the semester time! You can’t afford miss class! What you think you going to do?!?!
AH: Okay, can we not talk about this right now? I don’t know what I’m going to do. And I’m already very stressed out.
JM: You should be stress out. Such stupid!
JM: I told you need to be careful. Too much traveling. Always you get sick. And you never listen to me. Do you gargle with salt water every time you come home after leave house? You have to do every single time! Your father and I gargle with salt water every time we leave house. I bet you don’t. I know you. You lazy! Do you wash hands and sing happy birthday? I bet you don’t. You have to sing. [Commences singing lyrics to Happy Birthday because clearly, I — uninformed Philistine that I am — cannot be counted on to know the lyrics.]
AH: Oh. My. Fucking. God.
JM: Always so stupid get sick. I told you so!
AH: [to no one in particular] I wish I were dead.
JM: Yeah, we call you back sometime when not so stress out and such bad mood, okay?
* * *
3. Adventures in Ichtheology: A Nostalgic Interlude Looking Back to Happier, Pre-Pestilence Times
Apparently there is a local fish known as the Stickleback, which I happen to think is the Best. Name. Ever. (It has stickles! On its back!) In fact, I think that perhaps “stickleback” should be introduced into the vernacular, because what could possibly be more useful than to pepper one’s conversations with homages to the Stickleback? For example: “X has been a mite stickleback-ish since he caught his girlfriend cheating on him with the Swann’s delivery driver.” Or, “Don’t hate on Y’s favorite band, [insert name here], or he’ll get all stickleback-y on you for at least a full month.” Or, “I told you. Z’s a total stickleback!”
* * *
J: The pallid sturgeon is having difficulty reproducing in the wild.
KB: And why is that?
AH: [interrupting rudely] Hee. Because they’re self-conscious!
J: Well . . . actually, that’s kind of true.
AH: So do you suppose that makes the pallid sturgeon the J. Alfred Prufrock of the ichtheology world?
* * *
4. With a Burning Violin
For seven nights I have flickered until dawn
like a pale and incoherent flame
dancing again this reckless tarantella:
this fever, this fierce searing venom,
an ineluctable lightning in my veins.
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