I've been knocked out by an upper-respiratory infection that seems determined to inhabit my body for as long as possible. My voice has gone from indecipherably hoarse to adorably scratchy to "are you holding a cup of buttermilk in your throat and refusing to swallow it" congested.
When you're sick like this, people tell you the same thing, more or less. Chew on vitamin C. Stay away from sweets – they spread bacteria. Drink plenty of fluids. Tea. Lemon. Honey. Blanket. DVDs. No one tells you how it's going to feel like your whole life is slipping away from you, that you're missing every amazing thing this city has to offer, that even reading Premiere magazine will make you dizzy and sick (possibly unrelated to other symptoms), or your clothes will feel frumpy, and that your chest will explode with coughs and your body will attract other injuries (like the 2-inch splinter that drove itself through my cuddly winter sock into my foot flesh last night) and that your penis will be too tired and weak to get hard, even when hard-penis-making things happen.
And absolutely no one warned me that, at some point during my illness, I would find myself wrapped in a cat hair-covered afghan, watching the movie, The United States of Leland. That movie suffers from a tremendous case of the horribles. It's about a kid – Leland! – who probably stabbed a retarded boy to death and everyone wants to know why but Leland is a glassy soul with droopy eyes and dreamy dialogue sound bites and, guess what? Maybe there is no "why" to satisfy those questions. Maybe some crazy shit like stabbing retarded kids just happens so please leave me alone and let me stare through these prison bars like I'm seeing invisible angels. The United States of Leland is like a film adaptation of a Pearl Jam song, and I found myself narrating it like Eddie Vedder – "Butter cup sun trickling through the steel...a bicycle on its side...and LELAND!!!! LELAND!!!."
Do you see what I've stooped to?