Fever Dreams

Coming back from New York, I brought with me many things. Jars of pickled lemons, harisa, and pilpel tsuma. A necklace gifted me by a friend containing the body of a spider. A badge from the convention that kicked off the trip. A very bad cold.

I do not get sick very easily. I puff up, perhaps a little too boastfully, when I say “My immune system is like a Clydesdale!” Not this time. The night before I left New York, my body was a blast furnace, and everyone else’s skin felt cold to my touch. I’m told I babbled incessantly in what little sleep I got. One thing I do remember of my strange verbal spoutings was admonishing my host not to tell my mother– because she wouldn’t believe me that I was sick.

I carried that thought– dizzily– home on the plane with me, and have been able to turn it over in my head as recovery manages to elude me. My mother never believed me when I was sick as a child. When it turned out that I wasn’t faking it, she treated my bed-bound state as a punishment. No books, no videogames, no music– just sleep. But when coughs were wracking my body, and my face felt like it was on fire, it wasn’t possible to sleep. Her reaction was inexplicable. It perplexes me still. I found ways around it though, sneaking books into my room that I had taken out of the school library or I had borrowed from friends. I suppose that’s why it feels like like a small subversive pleasure, even now, to be blogging while sick. It’s my secret medicine.

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