As I lie in bed for the seventh straight day — weak as a fat kitten, unable to do pretty much anything except drag myself to the bathroom to pee a couple of times a day — I suspect that it’d be pretty easy to start feeling peevish and sullen and fucked with by The Flu Gods…but instead, I am just lying here thinking not about my discomfort, but about my profound privilege in getting to just lie here. For days and days. Until I get better. Astonishing!
In my rambling, felonious family of origin, the idea of being allowed to convalesce when sick was completely out of the question. Too many meals to make, too many dishes to do, too many loads of laundry to wash, too many babies to look after. I have a very distinct memory of one of my frequent bladder infections that had backed up into my kidneys, leaving me in agonizing pain and burning up with a perilously high fever of 104+, for which I probably should have been hospitalized — and my 16 year old self being ordered out from under my quilt, off the couch, and into the kitchen to prepare Hamburger Helper for 12 and then to the nursery to wrangle and bathe my wild, feral, half dozen younger siblings and get them ready for bed, despite the fact that my temperature was so high that I was shivering uncontrollably and could barely sit up or even hear.
I learned early that my physical and emotional needs, comfort, and safety were secondary to the immediate desires of those who were entrusted to care for me — and to this day, my greatest fear is bothering or burdening anyone else with my afflictions, either temporary or chronic. I will suffer until the end of time in utter, solitary silence before troubling someone else to help me. To be a burden — in ANY WAY — upon those I love is my greatest terror.
Make no mistake: This is not a virtue. There is nothing noble about it. In this respect, I am a dented can — and despite the infinite love, tender care, and inhuman patience of the best friend and fiercest, most loyal champion I have ever known, I fear this is a fracture in my character that can never be fixed.
But right now, FUCK ALL MY LAME, ANNOYING, OH, SO PREDICTABLE Existential Pissings — I just want to get into a hot bubble bath and warsh my bagina.