I almost made it through the semester without falling bed-riddenly ill…and then I didn’t. I managed to medicate myself through a PhD dissertation defense yesterday (an excellent one, too, I might add), and a celebratory drink afterwards, before coming home and curling up with Daisy on the couch, waiting for the tides of misery to move in.
To be clear, I just have a bad cold. But I am a very, very bad patient.
My first night of fever-dreams produced, among other things, the following:
I am at work in my dorm room, which is also my office. My husband shows up to surprise me. He is Bill Murray. We make out against the window; he tastes like hot sauce. I think to myself, I am married to the hottest Ghostbuster.
The family has gone to Disneyworld. We separate and I wander around alone, thinking how weird it is that one can just, you know, go to Disneyworld. Disneyworld is basically a giant outdoor mall organized by theme. At one point I enter a hotel and get stuck in a loop going up different floors where you have to go down by waterslide through different spas and athletic complexes. I manage to walk through a Mini-Rocket Golf course without disrupting anyone’s game. I have no time to stop for a mani-pedi. By the time I get back outside, the sun is going down and I have forgotten to take any photos. My family packs up the cars to leave and I’m with my dad in our little red Toyota Tercel. Ophelia is in the trunk and she’s not happy about it; it’s the extra fan down there, my dad explains. It’s very loud. We need gas, but on our way to the gas station my dad remembers we left Grandma in jail and need to go bail her out. Can’t mom do it? I ask. Your mother took it upon herself to go to the Cleveland library, my dad says peevishly.
In the vague context of some kind of school reunion, I learn that some family friends are part of a mafia ring. They know that I know, and they and a bunch of other rich white people come to our house. They throw a dog collar at my sister and say, Next time we’ll be dragging her out by that. I am livid and yell out the back door THESE RICH WHITE PEOPLE ARE A WEIRD AND SINISTER MAFIA. All my friends are over eating hamburgers and noodle salad and by the time I go to join them I cannot find any clean dishes. We are eating on the back deck and my dad and his friends are on horses; the weird-looking horse destroys the stairs on the way down. Why was our deck always the crappy one, I wonder. You just knew one day a horse would fall through those stairs. The dance party begins and no one will help me figure out how to save us from the mafia. Prince comes on and I dance with a person, maybe two, dressed up as a stuffed rhino. Everyone is impressed by our moves. My mom and I are gettin’ down with Oprah. I bet Oprah could help us, I say. My mom is too busy dancing. She Feels Like A Natural Woman. I tell Oprah about the mafia, the dog collar. Who threatens my sister? I ask. Everybody loves my sister. They made a big mistake. Oprah is a very good listener. The dance floor is down to a few committed slow-dancers. Someone compliments me on the tastefulness of my parents’ holiday decorations. I hadn’t even noticed.