One late October morning I awoke to a brutal oppressive heat. It felt like I was being roasted alive. Why was it so hot in October? I opened all the windows in my 5th floor apartment… wide. Peeled off everything except my shorts and stood half-naked Looking out at the banks of virgin snow in the back alley. Beautifully displayed mountains of white frosty snow. I was so hot. The snow looked so good. I couldn’t get cool. The snow looked so inviting. I could jump out of my window and land gently in the snow I thought. It would cool me down. It would be awesome. I could. I could… JUMP OUT THE FUCKING WINDOW?? Seriously? I was really just about to… Is that even actually snow down there? I’m so hot. Why am I so fucking hot? Maybe I should hold off on the swan dive five stories to the pavement and just go to the hospital. Yeah if I’m thinking jumping out my window is a good idea, I should see someone.
I think I took a cab to the nearest hospital but honestly I don’t remember. I may have walked. I don’t recall. I must have had help. I remember the triage nurse asking me to write my ailment on a slip of paper. “What this?” She said looking down at the paper with the words I AM DYING. scrawled on it in big block letters.
“It’s self-explanatory.” I answered back sweating profusely. I couldn’t stand still even though I could barely stand up. And I could hardly make out the blurry outline of the triage nurse as she looked up at me. She hadn’t bothered to look at me until then. Her diagnosis was instant and easy.
“You’re not dying.” she said “You have chickenpox.”
I had a temperature of 104 and I was hallucinating pretty bad so they admitted me. Used me as a teaching tool I guess because 2 or 3 times a day groups of medical students would enter my room and I would stand naked in front of them while their instructor poked at my pox covered body with a pointer. (Touch my penis with that stick again and YOU will need a doctor)
Also about 3 times a day for several days a nurse would come into my room and take blood. Lots of blood. By day four I was a little less blurry. A little less foggy, so I asked her. “Why are you taking my blood?” She packed up her little portable blood drawing kit without saying a word and left the room in a hurry. I never saw her again. They were stealing my blood. I thought that shit was a myth. Funny thing is if she had said we need your blood for study or we wanted some chickenpox because we’re all out or you have magic blood dude. It grants wishes. I would have said “Take all you want. I’ll make more.” But she got so scared and left in such a rush, it made me think it was something sinister.
I stumbled out of bed and like Ebenezer Scrooge waking up from a bad acid trip I asked an orderly if I had missed it. “Halloween? Have I missed it.” (Boy what day is it?) But unlike Scrooge I had missed it. Damn, my pox covered face would have made for a great costume. They wanted me back in bed.
I just had to make a phone call before I crawled back for more recovering and sleeping. I left a message on her voice mail. “Okay. You made your point and it almost killed me and I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have laughed. I know that now. But I think you may have over-reacted a little. But… having said that, that was pretty awesome. You’re amazing. I thought I was in love with you before… Call me later.”
I was in the hospital for another couple of days before they let me go home. They said I was lucky to be alive. Getting chickenpox as an adult is no joke. But I learned a lot from the experience.
There are lots of ways humans violate each other’s trust and you can add stealing blood to that list.
For a shy guy I really enjoyed being naked in front of a crowd. (maybe it was all the attention)
But mostly I learned that laughing is not the correct response when a girl tells you she has magic. That she’s a witch. Not at all. Because even if she’s full of shit, it doesn’t hurt to show her some respect.
Especially if it’s late October.