Monday, November 14, 2011

Chapter 24: Theraflu Should Be Classified As A Narcotic
It never fails that if I have something amazing planned over a free weekend (like this weekend past), I'll get some variety of flu or cold virus that knocks me on my barely-there ass. While my mind is up for anything, I sometimes wonder if my body isn't quietly judging these plans, secretly plotting to willfully thwart my attempts to partake in these activities; culminating into a bold rebellion at the last minute. Stupid family values body.

To exact my revenge, I make sure to treat my body in the most awful manner while I'm sick. I drink Mrs. Butterworth's straight from the bottle, eat large amounts of ice cream sandwiches, and take three times the amount of medication (in this case, Theraflu)...with a vodka chaser. I tell my body, "This is going to hurt you more than it will me." However, that is clearly not the case; I now remember why Theraflu is evil. Taken in quantity, it besets its consumer with vivid and troubling hallucinations. 

Now, I'm no stranger to hallucinogenics; like many people, I may have imbibed them often in high school--and now I know that my language arts teacher really did have a glass eye, but truthfully, I've never suffered any ill effects. But apparently, I'm just not able to handle the power of the Theraflu. For me, this artificially-colored, gritty powder (that is supposed to dissolve in clear liquid, but never does--especially in vodka), brings out the most frightening mental images. 

Usually when I am sick, I make a viewing list of some of the movies that I think will pass the time easier. And since I'm generally feeling sorry for my sick self, I'll pick movies with unhappy endings, or ones that cause me to throw my tissues at the screen (because they are so ridiculously bad). This weekend was no different; I gathered all of my necessities (tissues, blanket, phones, a snapshot of Vincent Price, and a variety of cold medicines). I settled in,  took my first dose of Theraflu, and started watching Monsier Hire. After 30 minutes, I didn't feel any different; however, I love French films, and this film is especially good; (Spolier Alert!) a peeping tom starts becoming obsessed with his neighbor, professes his love for her, and she promises him they could have a life together (sucker!). Meanwhile, her boyfriend may have killed someone, so she uses the peeping tom as the patsy...totally pinning the crime on him in the end. Oops...lingering Therfaflu in my system makes me digress.

Anyhow, I take my second dose, and finally I start to feel a lovely tingly sensation in my hands, but my body is still achy, so I quickly gag down another dose. This is when things begin to get weird. About a third of the way through the film, I started to realize that I can't tell the difference between being asleep and awake; that my dreams seem to be playing out in front of me while I am watching the film. In a flash, William Burroughs appeared next to me and I (naturally) began to comb his rather luscious head of hair, while he drank the rest of my Mrs. Butterworth's--which in hindsight, is just rude. And then to my astonishment, he said, "Shake out the blanket...I don't like wrinkles." And then he just disappeared.

I tried to get a hold of myself. I dragged myself into bathroom, but it wasn't my bathroom. The room had been transformed into the outdoor area of a Lutheran church that was the sight of my community service as a youth. I had been caught in an epic shoplifting bust at 14, and was ordered to work off my guilt to the sum of 25 hours (a stiff penalty back then). Along with scrubbing church pews, I was instructed to work the 'Carnival Day'  at the corral. The corral was actually a giant circle of mud, its diameter pierced by a large flagpole. Attached to the pole by weathered ropes were a trio of belligerent and grossly malnourished ponies.  Pushy, loud children lined up in a long, unrelenting line. It was my job to get these righteous little bastards onto the ponies and lead them around the circle. This might have been a reasonably boring task, except that with each rotation, one of the angry ponies would bite, kick, slobber, or defecate on my person. This went on for many hours. I can't say the experience prevented me from ever shoplifting again, but it did put me off ponies...probably forever.

When I found myself back on the couch again, the clock showed the passage of many hours. My rational mind deduced that I had been dreaming, but what about that empty bottle of Mrs. Butterworth's? I don't remember drinking it, and I think it's a little suspicious that Cities of the Red Night just happened to be sitting open on my coffee table.

Next time I get sick, I think I'll stick with Nyquil. 

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