Strep Throat

On Friday night, I had a single margarita and was basically instantly drunk. That's not unlike me, mind you. That's really pretty typical. I shouldn't say "Friday night," though. I should say, "On Friday at 6 p.m."

That meant that at 6:30 p.m. I was home from Juan's Flying Burritos, and I was alone, and I was drunk. I had tons of options. But I didn't really know what any of them were, because I was drunk enough that I couldn't move myself to use Facebook or anything like that. So that left me with just one option: go to sleep.

Which I did, at 6:30 p.m., in all my clothes. I figured that this was easy for me because I had woken up so early that morning, and I'd worked so hard all day, and so I was normal amount of tired. I woke up on Saturday at 3:45 a.m., ready to go. 

Except, not ready to go, because I had a really sore throat. Also, it was 3:45 in the morning. No one considers that Saturday morning. People consider that an acceptable time to get home on a Friday night. 

I drank apple cider vinegar and took ibuprofen. (Which I am not sure is what you are supposed to take for a sore throat, but I have started taking it for EVERYthing. I took it while I was going through my last break-up. Not in a suicidal way, just in a, "Well, it says 'painkiller,' so..." kind of way.) The sore throat worsened. At the show I had tickets for on Saturday night, I thought for sure I was dying. I wanted to slobber on everyone so they could feel my pain. I hated people who looked like they were enjoying themselves while they laughed. 

The next day I wanted to die. I slept all day, maxing out the ibuprofen. I slept all night, taking NyQuil (which was slightly better than ibuprofen, because it stung my throat in a pleasing way, and made me sleep). I woke up the next morning and I wanted to die. I went back to sleep. Then my cat bled urine in the bath tub. Then I decided we both needed to go to the doctor.

Before I took the cat to the doctor (he obviously got priority), I put a bright yellow camping light down my throat and looked at the gemstone-red pustules turning my tonsils into bloody geodes. I knew it was strep throat, because I'm not an idiot. I didn't want to sit in the cold doctors' office and have them gag me and make me swallow penicillin. I wanted to watch The Cosby Show. No, wasn't even true. I just wanted to die. That was all. 

The vet said my cat probably had a UTI. He bit me. (My cat, not the vet.) I wished I could tell him that I knew it was horrible, that when he was feeling lousy I took him to the freezing, bathtub-less, hypoallergenic, fifteen-by-fifteen-foot room with the fake, red-haired vet who never remembered that he was a boy (how emasculating). I knew it was horrible to be prodded and poked and held down by an assortment of girls with rainbow-dyed hair who only got their job at the vet because they were adequate members of PETA. I knew it was horrible to have to be filled up with chemicals on THE VERY DAY that he HAPPENED to pee blood. It was a bad day! What a bad day. I wanted to tell him. I couldn't tell him. So I just let him bite me.

The doctor, three hours later, told me that it was strep throat, because she wasn't an idiot. It took her probably ten seconds to diagnose me, and then she gave me penicillin, and then she said, "SLEEP." It was horrible that on the day that I most wanted to be dead, I had to pick myself up, drive my broken-down car all the way to Magazine Street, and get harassed by the parking lot guy. It was horrible that I had to take off my shoes and be weighed -- I HAVEN'T BEEN WORKING OUT, ASSHOLE NURSE, BECAUSE I HAVE HAD STREP THROAT, OK?! It was horrible to be charged $60 for a co-pay and $30 for a prescription and then have the hot pharmacy guy yell across the entire store that I MIGHT WANT TO USE ALTERNATIVE BIRTH CONTROL FOR TEN DAYS, OK? OK, Pharmacy Guy! You don't have to yell! Also, are you single? And are you into alternative birth control? Of course you aren't. NO ONE IS.

I tried to pull my cat into bed with me, but he bit me. He sat at the foot of the bed with that look on his face that said, "You'd better have some fuckin' live salmon or a really good blow job up your sleeve, because you are NOT on my good list right now." I was too tired. I went to sleep and wished to be dead.

The next day was another day just like that one.

And finally, today, I started to crawl out of bed. I probably have a yeast infection from all the antibiotics, but I'll take it.

There is this silver lining that comes with being really, really sick, and it is this: sleeping for days on end, resurrecting yourself just long enough to take a pill, and then sleeping (unsoundly, miserably, audibly) again, is kind of like dying. The world doesn't exist. Nothing matters. None of your obligations can be honored; you have to cancel everything. But then, you get to come back to life. You get to appreciate what it feels like to move your legs again. You get to smell air and enjoy it; you get to be excited to go into work; you get to eschew any cravings for watching The Cosby Show, because you did that for three days already, and you're done with it. The world is new. You realize what you ordinarily take for granted.

Now, when you are a cat, it seems that none of this is true. I got out of bed today and my cat promptly climbed into the warm wedge I left in the sheets. I made the bed on top of him and he didn't budge. He is still there, sleeping under the pillows, with a deep, unforgiving scowl beneath his whiskers. He doesn't even have the wherewithal to bite me anymore. It's just not worth it. Life is a dark hole of oppression and malfeasance against him and only him.