It's not about the house.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Have a Hangnail, and My Heart Is--

I’m lying in my bed, watching a Law & Order rerun on the USA network, wishing desperately that I was ill. Yesterday Johnny thought he might be, and even though he looked completely miserable, I got all inwardly-excited at the thought that his outward-misery might be contagious. It turned out to be a migraine, though, so rats.

See, I’m looking for an excuse to stay in bed for a couple days. No big deal. I’m not depressed or anything, just tired. I need a vacation. But I don’t get one and can’t afford to take one, so instead, every time I hear anyone so much as sniffle in my immediate vicinity, I wait until they walk away and then very subtly lick everything I think they might have touched.

Not really.

I do this every year, apparently. And as much fun as it is to feel sorry for myself, it’s not really just about needing a vacation. It’s also that, after the first few crisp nights of the season, I start hankering to hunker. But it isn’t fall yet, really, and I feel guilty about wanting to stay inside on these beautifully pure, late-summer days. Perfect temperatures, no humidity, fewer bugs – although we do seem to have more than our fair share of skunk juice being squirted out around here lately. I really ought to be outside barefootin’ in it all. Well, all except the skunk juice, naturally.

But I don’t want to go outside. All I want to do is pull the covers over my head and eat soup. Which is why I have been dreaming of disease...

Not real disease. I mean, my mother – who hasn’t been out of bed except to do her necessaries since the last crisp nights of spring – reported yesterday that, with Dad’s help over the weekend, she walked the whole length of the driveway to inspect her garden! I’m not saying I want to be like that. I will admit, though, that for fleeting moments here and there it’s sounded good. Especially considering that she’s also lost fifty pounds in two bedridden months and is under doctor’s orders to put as much food in her body as she can. Tell me that doesn’t sound like a late-summer vacation I could sink my teeth into! Except for the walking-down-the-driveway-to-inspect-the-garden part.

But no. I don’t need debilitation. Just mild impairment. A particularly virulent summer cold. A hint of porcine influenza, maybe. A tiny touch of escherichia coli, perhaps.

Ooh. Ick. Never mind on that last one. I just looked it up. “All blood and no stool”? No thank you. I guess plain old food poisoning will have to do. Or, you know, some other sort of general malaise.

What always happens next is that I pine for it long enough I somehow make it happen. After two or three weeks spent daydreaming of hot cups of soup and cold bowls of ice cream delivered bedside by my beloved (or by Johnny, depending on how high my longed-for fever is) I at long last feel some sort of tickle in a place where tickles aren’t supposed to be – throat, GI tract, bronchioli, hair follicles – and then...


It’s never near as much fun when it finally happens as it was in my imaginarium. It always turns out Johnny’s working, or at the pub, or just sick to death of listening to me whine, so I have to get my own damn cups of tea – which I then fall asleep before drinking and have to suck down later, cold. Not to mention I don’t feel good – which, I know, is kind of the whole point, but I somehow manage to forget about that part in the anticipation phase. The camel-breaker, though, is that there’s never anything good to watch on television in the daytime -- which is perhaps why this morning’s procrastination hour set me off.

Because really, all of this is just a long-winded way of saying I never understood the appeal of Law & Order. To be completely frank, I think it sucks. I can’t stand to listen to all of those poor actors trying to deliver all those weightily portentous sentences as if any actual person would ever talk that way. The episode I watched this morning, for example, ended with the following exchange – the last line gamely delivered by Vincent D’Onofrio, back before he decided to pay corpulent homage to Orson Welles:

“But if she had the lesion in her brain, doesn’t that prove the professor’s theory?”

“She didn’t commit the murder in a fit of rage. She did it for love.”


“Love. It’s a many-splendored thing.”


Yack. Who writes this crap? If you ask me, they’re the ones who ought to be licking handrails.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I feel a migraine coming on. Or else maybe I'm developing a rage-murdery lesion in my brain.


12ontheinside said...

Ah, see you need to go for something that is HIGHLY contagious, so you can't work, but doesn't make you feel bad. How about ringworm? hehehe.

Charlie said...

Oooooooo! I'm with 12...
Just go stick sick people's tongues in your eye (subtly)!

Sparkle Plenty said...

I salute my esteemed blogeagues' ideas--both 12 and Charlie have solid suggestions. But: Do what I did when I was a kid and fake it. Pretend you're sick. Hit the bed. Read some Betty Mac. Eat some soup. Sleep. Call in sick wherever you need to do so for a day or two. On L&O*, Vincent Donofrio would peer into the middle-distance and say, "Sometimes you can't afford NOT to."

*I'm kinda addicted, doesn't matter how bad the dialogue gets.

HPH said...

I soooo hear ya. I have to hang in there for a few more weeks and then I get my long-awaited, much-anticipated, under-rated, over-the-top vaca.

And yes sister, L&O is bad writing AND bad acting (what the heck, throw in producing also). Switch the channel; Dirty Boy or Jethro are on some where.