Urgh, I’ve been out of commission since Wednesday. I don’t know what happened but I became instantly and violently ill that afternoon and since then, I’ve been perpetually dizzy and motion sick, if I even move my head, nausea sets in. Initially, I blamed it on too much low grade, free wine from the evening before (I don’t think I’ve ever been to an office holiday party. My closest approximation is the moderately sad, though train wreck amusing annual Special Library Association gala, which they throw in November because it’s cheaper the further you get from Christmas. Inevitably someone over 70, or who looks to be over 70, will start boogying hard to oldies like “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” (which I guess was an upgrade from last year's big band numbers) and the entire room is trashed after two glasses of Chardonnay. Me, I somehow manage to find the only straight, reasonably attractive, good humored, foreign-accented, male librarian who happens to live in my neighborhood and close the bar down with him [it shuttered at 10pm so that wasn’t difficult] i.e. mildly hit on him. Like I said, these professional events are disasters waiting to happen. When you start flirting with fellow librarians, you know you’ve had three too many).
But I was at work and out of nowhere my head started spinning and sweat started gushing. It looked like I’d dunked my head in a bucket of water and my shirt became soaking wet in places I didn’t even know you could perspire like the back of the elbow. All I could think about was how to get home before puking and when you’re at the mercy of public transportation and hordes of holiday shoppers (working in the Rockefeller Center vicinity sucks post-Thanksgiving) this is no easy feat. While waiting for the subway, I was trying to assess whether throwing up in a garbage can or off the platform onto the tracks was wiser. I thought if I could get a seat, I might be able to last for 45 minutes. The car that pulled up in front of me was suspiciously bereft of passengers, all the others had standing room only. In the summer this would imply broken air conditioning. In this case I had no idea until I stepped on and was faced with the sprawled out homeless guy who not only smelled like urine (which I might be able to stomach on a stronger afternoon) but like a decaying corpse, completely beyond strong b.o. I couldn’t believe my misfortune and started heaving. I thought my last extreme nausea experience, stuck in traffic in Staten Island and having to throw up in a shopping bag was bad but this beat all. I did manage to switch cars at the next stop and squeezed myself into a tight seat that I normally wouldn’t and tried to meditate, go out of my body, imagine I was resisting torture like tough guys on TV, anything to make it the 13 stops without mishap.
The weird thing about this mystery illness is that smells are magnified. Normally, I can’t even smell things right under my nose. In the past few days, I’ve noticed how cigarette-y my coats are. I keep them in the downstairs closet in what is essentially James’s home office where he smokes heavily. Last night, I detected a hidden deodorizer in the car that must’ve slipped my radar for months (all of those fake scented Plug-Ins, room sprays and the like give me instant headaches. I have to avoid the giant freshener aisle at Target or I’ll hurl). So, after I settled into the new subway car, the overwhelming stench of farting hit me. I looked up to see two giggling teenage boys inches from me. I love bathroom humor, but I do not appreciate bathroom aromas, especially when I feel close to death. This was like my worst afternoon ever, though I’m sure I’ve said that before and will say it again.
My point is that it’s now Monday night and I haven’t had the wherewithal to come up with anything except for this crap because apparently I’m encephalitic, neurologically damaged or something (I did manage to leave the house yesterday to attend a friend’s Scrabble party and on the way home my leg went out from under me and I skidded out on the sidewalk. It might’ve been karma because I was annoyed with the slow family blocking the path in front of me and I was in the process of mowing them down on their right when my foot lost traction. That wasn’t only retarded for obvious reasons, but now I have a bruise all along the outside of my left thigh. Ha, the oblivious family did stop to ask if I was alright and I did politely say that I was even though internally I was blaming them for my spill.) Physical mishaps coupled with general year-end malaise (I never realized how much I don’t enjoy the holidays until recently) and typical job ennui, lately it’s a miracle if I rise before noon (this morning I made it up by 11:47am). 2007 resolutions will definitely involve self-discipline and alarm clocks.