Sick and Student


I’m sick as a dog, laying in bed blowing my brains out my nostrils, waiting for my body to wallow through the bacterial battlefields to recovery. Being sick is an interesting experience: it overcomes you, it overwhelms you, it possesses you. You are fighting a piece of the outer world that has invaded, that has successfully rendered itself into altered forms that can captivate you unawares, that propagates itself through you. You suffer to know of this outer alien unknown, your body pantomimes the precursory throes of death, and your mind feverishly dilates and contracts between dreams, desire, and despair. There is nothing to do but allow your unconscious self to take over, and wave to it from the chambered tower of your limitations like a damsel with a kerchief to her knight off to battle. At this point, the rational mind begins to bend itself into borderline witchcraft superstitions, thinking perhaps this remedy, or this potion, or this activity, or this thought will somehow summit the tipping point into victory, and suddenly the cascading mucous membranes will cease their tireless assault of your throat and lungs, and suddenly you will be free! Free! Alive! For indeed, if there is one good thing to say about getting sick, it is that it fully makes you aware of just how fortunate you are when you are well, and balanced, and breathing. How it makes you savor that feeling of non-infected sinuses, that full breadth of air into your lungs without hacking up quivering piles of sputum, that fresh, clean unsludged mind that can move, that can think, that can act! But it makes us stronger, in any case, right? To fight off naturally the invasive replicating hordes of ever evolving microbes? I certainly hope so, and that my time spent aching and feverish in bed is for a just cause. I like to think of it as when I connect on-line, and my anti-virus software automatically updates itself. My anti-virus software is updating. Tooling about in my tissues to reinforce the battlements with fresh data, to keep on top of the freshly mutating wave of evil that always lurks somewhere just at the edges of perception, the parasitic lifeforms that exist seemingly only for the purpose of endless propagation and otherwise simply for the cause of teaching mankind a lesson. The suffering that exists to lead us into recognition of what we have lost, and that in the regaining of this loss, we can then remember, for a spell, the brilliant numinous joy that is everyday existence in health, in fullness of being, in balance of breath. Until we go under again . . . and again, until one day we are assimilated by the Borg of alien teeming mutating ecstatic multitudinous dance of death-life that is one and everything in the universe. Until then, I suppose I will have to suffer this sickness gladly, and take my lesson and my medicinal tea in full, humbly, as the imperfect, fallible human structure that I am. Here’s to colds!


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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