thanks, babe. thanks. i really appreciate that.
if you hadn’t already guessed, it was my lovely unlawfully-wedded partner who said that to me. only days ago. as i lay groaning in bed from a cold/flu type thing, which i undoubtedly must have caught in “room 618,” the room where they can ppl at my former place of work (i must give a shoutout to the ex-colleague/friend that pinpointed where we picked it up; she got it, too. HOLLA!)
so. apparently i’m a bad patient.
“you’re worse than a man!” holly says to me each and every time i get sick. [apparently men are bad patients? she was married before (yes, to a man, and yes, if she lets me i will tell you a little more about that in my book) so i guess she’d know.]
and i’m like (cough, sniffle), “babe! cut me slack! i don’t (cough, gag, etc.)…i don’t feel good!”
“i know you don’t feel good! you tell me every five minutes!” she said sometime over the past few days. ” i swear, woman, when you’re pregnant, i’m sending you to your parents’ for nine months!”
this, despite its ridiculousness (wait, honey, you’re joking right?? right?), made me laugh extremely hard. somehow i don’t think anyone would be ok with this plan except holly.
so yeah. i was sick. in case you were wondering where i was. which you probably weren’t. but still.
“you probably have swine flu,” my mom said casually to me over the phone on friday.
“mom, i don’t have swine flu,” i said.
“you might. i mean, you probably do. maybe just a mild case. but it’s probably the swine flu.”
a mild case of the swine flu. oh mom. mothers. you know? i know you know. (esp. if you have a jewish mother.)
anyhow, it knocked me flat on my ass from thursday afternoon til today, pretty much. but in a way, it felt kind of good. like, cleansing. like all the bad stuff that built up in me over the past miserable year and a half of my four-year stay at FPOE (former place of employment; i’ll just call it that from now on, much easier) just kind of exploded and now it’s over. it also gave me a chance–more like forced me–to take it easy. tho i like stopping to enjoy, say, a cup of coffee, i so rarely take it truly easy. nothing like a whopper of a cold to force you to slow the hell down.
one thing i started doing again (haven’t done this in a long long time) while i was sick–and something i will continue doing, i am happy to say–is read. i love reading memoirs. especially effed up druggie/rehab/bad childhood memoirs, probably b/c it makes me feel really really ok and normal. [i can thank augusten burroughs, author of “running w/scissors,” (bad bad childhood), “dry” (alcoholism/rehab) and “wolf at the table” (homicidal father; i read the entire thing on saturday) for my fascination w/these books.] now i’m onto “a million little pieces,” despite all the controvery re: it’s authenticity.
why am i telling you this? i’m telling you b/c as i was calmly, quietly (yes, i can be quiet. sometimes. anyway) reading “a million little pieces” last night (holly, sitting on the floor in front of the couch, was doing homework-type stuff; she’s back in school in case i never mentioned it), we heard a sound. a sound we became all too familiar with over the cold months. a sound that, when i heard it while holly was at school last semester, i swore i thought something was gonna pop outta the damn wall and hiss and bear its teeth at me.
we muted the tv. (we were listening to the radio or something) we heard it again. louder.
we looked at each other, wide-eyed. after a moment we looked at each other again and shrugged.
“it’s probably just a mouse,” i said. nothing we can’t handle. we’ve dealt w/this crap before. if you live in baltimore, esp. in a rowhouse where you share ancient walls with potentially filthy and/or ancient neighbors.
we put the tv back on. the noise started again.
“MUTE THE TEEVEE,” i said in my most loud jewish whisper (you know, the kind you reserve for synogauge when you’re talking about how short someone’s skirt is).
we listened. nothing again. the tv went back on. then we heard the sound louder than we have ever ever heard it. i didn’t need to tell holly to mute it again, she did it w/out me saying a word. we listened, paralyzed with fear. i’m telling you, you guys would have sh*t your pants. the noise came closer
then we screamed.
“HONEY. HONEY OH MY G-D IT’S A RAT. HONEY IT’S A RAT!!!!”
“IT’S IN THE VENTILATION!” holly shouted.
“OH MY G-D!” i screamed back, while i turned off the entire hvac (heating/ventilation/air-conditioning) system. well more like i turned it off and then on and them off again while i screamed and jumped up and down and freaked the hell out and shook.
it scurried again some more and stopped.
it probably wasn’t a rat. it probably was a mouse. i mean, who the hell knows. they’ve got to sound louder when they’re in huge industrial-grade metal exposed hvac pipes. in any case, i’m tired of dealing w/this sh*t on our own. it’s time to bring in the big dogs. it’s time for a serious exterminator b/c i have had it.
i’ve pretty much had it w/everything lately. between the effing rats out back, the mice inside and out, the feral cats (we have caught quite a few; i’ll also leave that for the book) and, oh, i don’t know, witnessing a bunch of guys jump out of a car and kick the living sh*t out of some of our neighbors across the way (we called the police; unfortunately, this wasn’t the first or even the second time we’ve seen something like this go down late at night pretty much in front of our house), and the open-air drug market across the street, i don’t think either one of us is going to last much longer in this city. i’m really starting to lose my cool.
i just…we just. we need a break. you know? we need a goshdarn break.
altho, for the first time in my entire life, i had to skip rosh hashanah services (over the weekend) b/c i was so sick, i really do feel like we will somehow get a break this year (jewish, i.e. lunar, year) and things will get better.
“bad things come in threes, right?” my mom said over the phone last night when i called to tell her what was going on. “that’s what they say. and then things start getting better.” (tho i must say she doesn’t know the half of it. no one really does save for holly and i)
while we’re way past three (again, the book), i’ve got to hope so. in the meantime, i’m just glad i’m not a disgusting infectious “room 618” mess anymore. i have cleansed myself of my FPOE and i. am ready. to rumble.