Yesterday I greeted the end of my work day on a subway platform with a slew of other Manhattanites, all shoving each other like pinballs in designer suits. Just as a man’s elbow nearly took out my face, a wave of sickness came over me. This is nothing new as far as New York subway experiences go. Particularly in the summer. Waiting for a subway in August is essentially spending time on a hostile, inhabitable planet. A dense, humid atmosphere replaces breathable oxygen, overheating occurs at an aggressive rate, water spontaneously evaporates, society loses all morality as children and the elderly are pushed aside in order to obtain a neon orange plastic seat, etc. However, the sickness that came upon me went went beyond the customary feelings of subway eradication which we’ve all grown accustomed to. I didn’t quite feel like I had to vomit, and I didn’t think I would pass out, but I knew if I got on that train I would regret it because of the severity of the illness I felt.
I ran out of the station and hailed a cab, which takes a lot of gumption considering I was on the Upper West Side heading towards the Lower East Side, which is basically a week’s worth of groceries. I may not have spent that money in fact if I hadn’t been so ill and therefore slightly delusional (impacting even my monetary sense). When I finally made it back to my apartment, I discovered I had a temperature of 100.6.
The ensuing scene was a frightening one. The sick body is one of contradiction: simultanously hot and cold, shaky and aching. This leaves a person with some very strange options. I went and grabbed my winter blanket as well as my standing fan and wrapped myself like a cocoon while blasting cold air in my face. My cheeks were ruddy and palms sweaty, my hair thrown up into a ratty ponytail. I put on purple sweatpants and a stained Bar Mitzvah shirt that I’ve had since I was 12. The whole thing felt like a bad Jewish spoof of “28 Days Later.”
When one reaches this state, there is only one real course of action. And we all know what that action is. “Seinfeld” on DVR. Thus, I promptly began an impressive marathon of built-up episodes. DVRing that show is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Because when you’re in a bind, ie, you’re ill and can’t do much else except rot in a lump on the couch and watch TV, much of live TV just won’t cut it. There is nothing that makes a fever worse than seeing a commercial for “Bad Girl’s Club” where women in too-tight dresses shout obscenities and throw china plates at each other for no discernible reason.
Today has been much of the same. I finished “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and have listened to bad indie mixes on 8tracks created by 18 year olds in the Midwest. Thus, my first experience with fever in New York has gone as well as could be expected. The plan for tonight involves more ingesting of fever-reducers and continuing to read Anne Sexton’s completed poems, which I suspect is the perfect antidote for keeping myself mentally downtrodden just in case I start to physically perk up.
And also, here is my new blog, weeahoooo!