This is the second blog about being sick I've written today.
The first, over at my own site, is about how illness cripples me mentally and interferes with my thought and writing processes, such as they are. It's called "Lost on the Neural Pathways," and it's accurate enough, considering that it was written by someone whose IQ has fallen into the double digits.
This one is about the unfocused, all-encompassing malevolence toward the world in general that illness invariably brings out in me. I'm always scornful of scenes in movies and books in which the sick person floats angelically an inch or two above the mattress and dispenses cheer and wisdom to those who have gathered around. Nobody gathers around me when I'm sick, and for good reason.
On sick days, all of God's creation seems like the worst, most mismatched idea ever whipped up by Ben and Jerry -- Turkey Ripple, say, or Beef Jerky 'n Cream. Heaven's very light is harsh and metallic, the visual equivalent of a mouth full of nickels. The miraculous, highly evolved brain I was handed at birth turns into a rusted scouring pad that loosens and presents for detailed examination every physical ache, emotional misfire, intellectual shortcoming, and spiritual cosmic joke it can locate.
Childhood seems to me, on days like these, a needlessly noisy and rambunctious phase on the way to adulthood. Adulthood seems like a mercilessly prolonged dwindling, a bright promise lengthily broken as our illusions are stripped from us one by one and the laughter of Something ripples through the Cosmos. Poetry is nonsense read by people who wear berets, and unrhymed poetry is nonsense read by people who wear berets and all-black clothing. And snap their fingers a lot.
Flowers? Vulgar, over-showy neon advertisements for plant sex. Sunrise? An ironic overture to another disappointing twenty-four hours. L'amour? Don't even get me started.
Oh, and while I'm on l'amour, what's the deal with French, anyway? What's with establishing public committees, or whatever they are, to isolate and stamp out degraded French? What's wrong with Le Drug Store? Short, to the point. I'd think that "short and to the point" would be desirable qualities in a language in which spelling seems like a contest to see who can shove the largest number of silent letters into a word and in which all syllables, no matter how they're spelled, are pronounced ong.
None of this is aimed at you, Cara. In fact, none of it is aimed at anyone. This is why people don't gather around me when I'm sick. But I'll feel better tomorrow. Unless I'm dead.
And all I've got is a mild flu. Hope I haven't ruined your day.