Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fever Dreams

So yesterday, more or less immediately after making my last post, I started to feel sick. For a while it was okay and then it was terrible. I switched between burning up and shivering several times. At some point I went to bed. I couldn't really think or move. My head felt swollen inside itself. It took tremendous force of will to do anything. I slept and did not sleep.

As I was dreaming and not dreaming, I remembered how easy it was for a high fever to result in brain damage. I thought of how Bill Clinton's personality is said to have changed after his heart surgery, as sometimes happens, and wondered if this also happened sometimes because of a fever. I wondered if I would be a bad person and husband if my personality changed. I thought that maybe the change would be positive -- instead of becoming angry or short-tempered, I would become more generous and loving, a better person and husband.

I imagined my virus spreading. It would incapacitate Western civilization. People would trade not goods or services (which would no longer be produced by our exhausted bodies) but precious moments of health, which some would stockpile. I imagined Superman doing his best, but there was metal underneath his skin -- he could not empathize with our frailty.

Three luminous white lines rise sharply at a 45-degree angle. Two of them stop, intersected by a yellow line; the other goes gray.

I imagined that in the post-apocalyptic fiefdoms that would remain of our civilization, livestock would be both necessary (as it could feed itself) and nearly impossible to find. I (not me, but another me) searched a world overgrown with diseased wheat for a man who grew cows and dinosaurs. However I could never find him. My method of searching was that when I came to a door I would open it. There was no particular door I was looking for. I opened them all.

Then at about 2:30 I woke up absolutely certain that I needed to go downstairs and drink Cherry 7up and watch Futurama, so I did. Several hours later I woke up absolutely certain that I needed to go upstairs and sleep in my bed, so I did. That I could move my body came as a surprise. Today I taught my morning class but let them out early; I had almost misspelled "universal" as "universical" on the board, found it difficult to concentrate, lead discussion, or say words I knew perfectly well. Slept in the Puerto del Sol office on a couch half my length. Woke up with drool on my hands and panicked because I didn't know, for a moment, it was drool.

Am presently maybe sort of okay. Hoping to take another nap and feel better.


  1. At least this resulted in the deployment of the phrase "a man who grew cows and dinosaurs."

  2. What I didn't wonder at the time, but wonder about now, is whether there were any efforts to prevent the dinosaurs from eating the cows.