Reprieve from Hell

Monday, February 19, 2018

It’s Presidents Day and I have arrived at The Mint Karaoke Lounge super early to meet up with my sister. I haven’t seen her in years; this will be a special treat. The bar isn’t open yet, so I decide to take some pictures of the nearby buildings and landmarks from unique angles. Finally, I hear her voice ring out and see her emerge from a rented Prius. We embrace and then I lead her into the place I have come to regard as my second home for the last 19 years.

The bar is empty, except for the two of us and the bartender, Brian. I introduce him to my sister.

“We’ve known each other for a long time, haven’t we? Let’s see, it’s been about 20 years”

“Try 25 honey!” Brian has a flair for the dramatic, and now it also seems that he has a penchant for exaggeration.

“No,” I correct him. “I’ve only been coming here since 1999”

“Oh, I must be thinking about the time when I knew Lane before I knew you. The two of you were joined at the hip”

Yes, we certainly were. Sister and I order our drinks and then, somewhat later, sing a series of duets on the stage. It’s a happy, carefree moment in time. All too soon, she has to leave. We say our goodbyes, and then head our separate ways.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I wake up at 5:00 AM and instantly regret it. I feel terrible. I’m suffering from a violent chill that causes me to shake uncontrollably. I have a fever. My body aches, terribly. Nevertheless, I’m the integrations on-call person this week. It’s my job to monitor our systems. I send out an alert, notifying our recipients that some of our automated jobs haven’t completed yet. I ping another member of our team, asking him to take over today. It’s hard for me to do this, but after a quick phone call with him, I think he realizes that I’m in bad shape.

I think I have the flu.

Just getting out of bed is a miracle.

Now I’m staggering down the hall towards the kitchen. I have to periodically grab something to prevent from falling over. I take two aspirin and go back to bed.

I have to let the dog out.

I have to go to the bathroom.

I’m having the weirdest dreams. Is it still Tuesday?

It’s still Tuesday. The chills have only partially subsided. I feel my forehead. The fever is diminished.

More dreams. What do they mean?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I send out a note to my company advising them that I’m still sick. There is no guilt about this. There is no room for guilt, only sleep.

My co-worker and friend, Jeff, sends me a “get well, soon” text. I can only type “Thanks” and send.

I’m in a room with several strange (and rather vocal) characters. They’re having a shouting match.

“These are aspects of your personality,” a voice informs me. The voices get louder. I can’t make out what they are saying. Suddenly, I feel two hands gently take mine and lead me out of the cacophonous room.

I look up and see a woman from colonial times. She is of ample build with a steady, warm gaze. “My name is Sarah Minor, and I represent your courage.” Her hands are still on mine. “Nice to meet you, Sarah,” I replied. “Do not be discouraged. You will prevail,” she said, with simplicity. She informs me that she has a younger sister named Sarah Minor Freshman. I wonder what she represents, and then oblivion takes over.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Another sick note sent to the company.

I can smell colors. What gives?

I’m drinking water like it’s going out of style. I can even smell the water!

I think I’ve lost some weight. Need to eat. Important.

My dog, Snowball, has been at my side the whole time.

More dreams, unremembered. Except for one. There is a rather thin woman with green skin and braided hair. Periodically, she stomps out to the parking lot and pounds her fists on a car, always the same car. It sounds like a fusillade. At the same time, she screams a series of profanities (I’m sure it’s a made-up language). And then she leaves, uneventfully, quietly.

I still stagger around the house. It’s quite unbecoming.

Friday, February 23, 2018

It’s Saturday? I think it’s Saturday. So why is my supervisor sending me a message to check my company email? Oh my God, it’s Friday. I take care of business and inform my company that I’m still out of commission.

I can still smell colors. What the !#@$%&

I text my friend, Jeff, the following: “If you don’t hear from me by Monday @ Noon, call the police. I’ve expired” And then, I had to amend that with “That’s an example of gallows humor if you didn’t know”

Two hours later I get a response. “Hey! Just got this. Are you feeling better… or worse”

“A little better. At least I’m not hallucinating wildly like I was before”

“Oy. You really got sick”

Later on, I informed him that “my inner sass is going to open a can of whoop-ass.” I’ve never used that expression before!

“I don’t think there’s a microbe that could hold you down”

That’s what I needed to hear. Thank you Jeff!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

It’s easier getting out of bed. I’m not staggering as much as I used to. My appetite is back. My sass is coming back. There’s a light at the end of this tunnel.


Little did I know it would take two full weeks to completely recover from this most awful flu. This was one of the worst I’ve had — if not the worst.

This fall, I’m getting the flu shot!

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