Three weeks. I was locked up, alone with my thoughts, for three whole weeks. Thanks a lot, COVID! Being sick sucked. Punch the ‘s’ and draw out the ‘ucked.’ It’s not fun. It’s not a vacation. Sure, I watched copious amounts of content on numerous streaming services. I didn’t shower for four days straight. My pyjamas became sentient and left me to study acrobatics with Cirque Du Soleil.
Am I jealous? Sure, who wouldn’t want to be incredibly flexible and fly through the air like a graceful seagull. I’m a clumsy, crippled, penguin so I doubt I’ll be invited to join those elite athletes and artists. Maybe my pj’s will remember the bond we once shared and send me a couple of tickets.
Oh, a girl can dream, but she can’t go on a vacation when she has a highly communicable disease.
Being sick was bothersome. Should I use a more dramatic descriptor? Probably. It would make a better story and add a colourful pizazz to the proceedings. Hold onto your very convincing hairpiece because I’m about to say something that will sound a bit histrionic. If it helps, you can picture me swooning and falling to the floor like a graceful penguin in a hoop skirt.
Hell, even if that image doesn’t help soften the tragicomical edges? You should give it a go. Just for the giggles. A swooning, eighteenth century, penguin. I mean, come on, that’s what dreams are made of! I’m the only one who has dreams like that? Yeah, look at me, making things awkward.
Forgive the melodrama and the woeful self-indulgence. Being sick is merely bothersome because I’m used to it. I get sick a lot. I have a chronic illness, kidney disease, which means I’m always, technically, sick. Even if appearances easily deceive us both, I’m not well. I might not feel sick, look sick, or sound sick but at my core, I’m a penguin with a case of the vapours.
I don’t know what the vapours are. I saw it in a movie. I should probably look it up before posting this. Nah, let it ride and see what happens.
Now that I’m saying things out loud, on this page, a very serious question has popped up out of nowhere. How impulsive? That doesn’t sound like me. Asking random questions at inappropriate times? Yeah, that’s more like it.
Have I really gotten used to being ill or is this some sort of syndrome? Stockholm, perhaps? Feeling sympathy for one’s captor and, perhaps, even an affinity for them. Hm, in my case the captor is my own body and I do have a peculiar affinity for that, but does it count? Am I simply making friends with my demons in a vain hope of reaching an armistice?
If my body promises to stop breaking down so often then I agree to, uh, shower more often? Work with me here! There’s gotta be something you want.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if me, myself, and my internal organs could find a way to work together to further our common goals? Yes, in theory, that would be the most prudent approach. In practice? My body is a little bitch who’s hell-bent on our mutual destruction. How do I work with that? By resigning to fate and watching copious amounts of content until the hissy fit is over.
The whole process is bothersome at best. At its worst? It sucks royally, but at least I have a good reason to shrug off my responsibilities and give life the sophomoric middle finger. Yes, it’s childish. Sure, it’s beneath me. But screw it, when I’m sick, I’m allowed to be petty and juvenile.
I’m so fun to be around when I’m under the weather.
There’s always a bright side! Well, that’s what they tell me and they’re smarter people than I am. Fine, I’ll take their word for it and say that there’s always something good going on out there. Somewhere. It’s a big world and it’s gotta be five o’clock by now. What am I saying? I don’t drink for reasons that escape me at the moment.
There’s always something good? Sure, it’s a needle in a haystack, but it’s there. Bright and shiny. Sparkly too. Oo, pretty. Damn, that haystack bites. Splinters? How did I get a splinter in a haystack? That can’t be how science works. It’s turning gangrenes. It’s spreading. What do I do?
Go out and looking for the bright side, they said. It will be fun, they said. It’ll improve my mental health, they said. They said nothing about splinters and gangrene.
Oh, but if that was the end of the story then this would be an awfully short post. There’s nothing wrong with short. I’m 4’10 if I stand with good posture. Short is awesome. It’s brilliant! Except, everything on the top shelf no longer exists and I write my grocery list to focus solely on the bottom two shelves. So, you know, it’s practical.
As much as I try to look on the bright side, I can’t ignore the simple fact that sunny skies cloud over. Shiny objects are often found in dark and dirty places. Those places dull the shine and throw infectious splinters like blow darts.
Does that make me a pessimist? I prefer realist, but is that splitting hairs? Then again, looking up at the sun without protective eyewear is dangerous and it can cause permanent retinal damage. Oh, and if you’re as clumsy as I am? It’s just not safe to look at the shiny things without looking out for potholes.
Did I just muddle my metaphors? Oh! Let’s muddle them further.
There’s one thing that pulls the aviators over my eyes and muddies my diamonds. It’s not being sick or how long it takes to get better. It’s not the muscle aches or raging fever. It’s not the inability to breathe or the need to sleep for eighteen hours. Which, to be honest, was a nice change of pace for this insomniac.
No, what really put a damper on my sick bed reverie was the company I was forced to keep.
I’ve never had the delightful pleasure of a roommate but, from what I’ve heard, it can be a trying experience. Challenging one’s stability, perseverance, and the durability of the tongue. How hard and how often can a tongue be bitten before permanent damage is done? Only science can tell.
I’ve watched my friends compromise for the sake of peace and put up with idiocracies akin to apes in a docuseries. They had to find unique ways to have some alone time. Sought out a creative reprieve so that they could breathe without running into another living soul for five minutes.
Can I have five minutes? Is that too much to ask for? Five minutes of silence. Five minutes of peace. Five minutes to think about puppies, kittens, and little puggles. What’s a puggle? Well, it’s a baby platypus. I’m not sure if that’s the scientific term, probably not, but it’s fun to say. It puts a smile on my face. Oh, look at the puggle pictures.
And that’s all I want! Five minutes to think about cute little puggles and google puggle pictures. Five minutes alone. Quiet. Peace. None of this incessant nattering. Just shut up!
I live alone so, uh, I’m making things awkward again.
While I don’t have a roommate that takes human form; I do have one living inside my head. Where ever I go, there I am. It doesn’t matter how creative I get. I can’t find a moment’s reprieve. All I want is a single, solitary, moment of nothingness but my mind won’t shut up.
It latches on to the smallest thing and cranks it up until a puggle becomes a giant porcupine from outer space. It shoots lasers out of its quills. Its space ship has probes, and they aren’t shy about human experimentation. Do you think the gynecologist is bad? Do you hate getting your prostate checked? A giant porcupine from outer space with probes is so much worse.
What’s worse than that? Being alone for three arduous weeks with my dog, incontinent geriatric cat, and a mind that won’t shut up. It’s barely tolerable on days when I have things to do, people to see, and plenty of distractions. At least then, for a few hours, my mind is drowned out and I get a break from myself. When I can’t do that? When I have to be a responsible human being and not spread a virus to anyone in my community? My mind tests my sanity.
How do I evict myself? Thirty days’ notice? Get some boxes and hope my mind takes the hint? What if I get a really good pair of steel toe boots and lace them up real tight? Maybe stretch, do some yoga, limber up a little?
I’m asking with moderate sarcasm and a small, fading, hope that it’s actually possible to evict my own mind. If I can get rid of it then there’s room for a new one to move in. Maybe I’ll have better luck with a fresh start? Am I that lucky? Does it even matter? I think the answer to every question I’ve asked would be a resounding: You need help.
Agreed, but help is expensive and I’m on a budget. I was hoping for a quick fix. Something I could put together with some construction paper and dollar store glue. If I’m feeling frisky, I’ll get the markers that smell like fruit. Allegedly. I’ve never actually smelt an orange like that and oranges don’t make my head feel buzzy. Coincidence?
If only a dollar store craft project would get the job done! Oh, but even the dollar store has its limits. Damn you capitalism! No? Too silly? I was hoping to pawn it off onto some kind of overlord, but I’ll just have to take personal responsibility. There’s a string of expletives sitting on my tongue.
Three weeks with my overthinking, ruminating, mind was a lot of time alone with myself. I’m free now. I’m out, in the world. I’m still trying to avoid people because there are too many unknowns with this virus. Can I get it again? No idea and I don’t want to risk it. I cannot spend another three weeks alone with such a horrible roommate.
Am I the only one who overthinks, ruminates, and chews things over so much that a hole appears in the stomach? I wonder why I get so many ulcers? Oh, life and its many mysteries. But I’m not the only one, right? Right? Please say I’m right. I’m begging. It’s not a good look. I’ll stop. Unless it’s working and you’re about to raise a timid hand and say, “Me too.”
I wish I had some profound words for you, but all I can do is raise a timid hand. Me too. Obviously. I just spent how long telling you I’m an over-thinker and now I’m second-guessing my decision to put words on the page at all. My mind is relentless.
I don’t have any answers, and if you were looking for a how-to guide? I don’t think it’s possible to evict one’s own mind. There’s no exchange program. We can’t trade in the old and get a discount on the new. We’re kind of stuck with what we’ve got.
Who made up that rule, right? They can suck it. Where’s the complaints department or a manager? Let’s flood them with our over-thought complaint slips. Naturally, we’ve rewritten the thing seventeen times. We drove to the store, turned around, and drove home. Repeat that process a dozen times until we find an email address.
I want a new mind, please, and I’m not leaving until I get one! No, I said please. That means something in a civilized world. Wait, does that make me a, uh, you know? Look at me, still making things awkward.