If this hideous picture of me with my mason jar of orange juice didn’t tip you off then I’ll just come right out and say it–I’m sick. I have a cold. I can’t go to Tahoe or to the Rogue Brewery and play with my friends and I’m home and my head hurts and my ears feel weird and I can’t read without falling asleep and it’s lame.
I. Hate. Being. Sick.
Living alone is wonderful but, I will say, when you’re sick it’s kind of sad. There’s nobody around to see you suffer or feel bad for you. Ha, you just have to be miserable by yourself. This is always when I start to feel sorry for myself and I want an old friend or a hot guy to come knock on my door like they do in the movies and bring me soup. And I don’t even like soup. Ha, and then I also miss my mom and dad because I’m kind of a big ol’ baby like that. But I’m lucky. I’m lucky I even have the types of parents you miss when you’re sick.
I have this really vivid memory of being sick as a kid and my mom taking care of me. I had just finished a particularly violent bust of vomiting (sorry if that’s gross) and I’m in bed just completely exhausted and drained. You know when you’ve just got nothing left in you and you can’t even lift your pinkie finger let alone an arm or leg? So I’m stuck there breathing slowly and unevenly and my mom comes in the room and sits down on the bed next to me and she just starts pushing my hair back from my face and tucking the wet strands behind my ears. She doesn’t say anything but sits there with me for a while, I don’t even know how long, and plays with my hair in this way. It was really nice. It didn’t make me feel better but it was nice.
To this day, I love it when people play with my hair in this way. It’s just about the most comforting thing ever.
I had a couple of years where I always got sick at the holidays. One year I ended up getting the flu at Christmas and it was the strand of flu that’s especially contagious so I had to stay home on Christmas Eve while the rest of the family left and went to this huge party we had ever year. I remember being at my grandparent’s house sick and alone watching The Christmas Story on TBS for the third time that day when the door opened and my dad walked in. He didn’t want to leave me alone on Christmas Eve so he dropped everyone off at the party and came back to stay with me. I don’t remember much else from that night because I fell asleep pretty soon after he got home. But I do remember laying down to watch TV with my head in my dad’s lap, curled up with one of my grandma’s afghans, the dim colored lights from the Christmas tree and the glow the TV, my dad and I not saying anything, just sitting there quiet before I fell asleep.
Parents are nice. Especially when they take care of you. Now I’m a grownup (I mean, as much as a grownup as I can be) and they’re not here but my mom has text-messaged me three times to tell me to drink liquids, go to urgent care if I need to, and go to sleep.
Oddly enough, there’s a comfort in that too.