Not just any old bacterial infection. Not this season’s bout of springtime sniffles. Not even a whopping case of influenza. It was a monster of a malady that blasted in and brought me down these past few weeks.
I am only left to say – “What was that!” But the good news is that I am left to tell the tale and there were moments, I must admit with some embarrassment, when I succumbed to baby wails of self pity and it seemed I would never right or write again.
And what, indeed, was it? I only know that the doctors called it a bacterial infection. It first bombarded my eyes which ballooned and squinched shut, accompanied by a substance I dare not describe, afflicted by pain and, horror of horrors, the ultimate itches. That not being enough for the rampant microbes, they next dropped into my neck and sawed away with a blunt bread knife.
Consequently, because reading and comforting bed rest has not been in the current equation, I spent the past two weeks propped, squinting, in front of the TV. It has become my world. And within this painful, itchy haze, I have cheered on try-out, wan-na-be millionaires; felt at times I WAS one of the Friends; was shocked to learn that Orange County Housewives look like hookers; and helped to make house purchases all over the world. It’s a far cry from Rachel Maddow, who has been my main TV friend up until now.
Funny how one’s world expands (or shrinks, as the case may be) when one is incapacitated. I know I will ever after be on the lookout now, every time I go to Home Depot, for a young, bouncy guy, zipping around the corner and asking if he can follow me home. And hoping he picks me. All this I learned on a show called Yard Crashers, where shoppers are accosted by an actual, reality garden make-over genius, with a huge team of workers who “crash” one’s yard, bringing in thousands of dollars of supplies and transforming it into a dream resort in just two days. But the shoppers have to trust his schtick first. Go for it. Go beyond their instinctual negativity.
I “get” that the reverse racial stereotyping lesson underneath is a sub plot of the series. Why else would the producers cast a young black man with the name of Ahmed Hassan? And I can’t condone the ha-ha jokiness of the gag. The reality of the inference is not funny. But I not only want Ahmed to choose me, I want to adopt him. And while he’s at it, he can make over my garden any time.
As I was spinning the dial (i.e. – clicking the blipper) during the beginning days of this bacterial siege, the world experienced a few “weather” days and I was also forced to monitor the tornado warnings as well. Red Alert! And as the arrows pointed across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa – up and up, on and on, wrecking havoc and destruction all the way – they finally and pointedly aimed directly at – me.
No fair, medical and weather gods! Overload!
Well, we’re safe now. I think I’m on the mend. I’ve learned far more than I need to know about Orange County housewives. The tornado passed us by. My personal chef is as good as they get.
But I’m still looking for you Ahmed.