I was called on the phone while at work Saturday. I called back the number and told that I’d be able to work Sunday. When I got home I had felt horrible and the condition worsened. By late evening I was in sad shape and I went to sleep, turning on the heat in the apartment, wearing layers of clothing, using two blankets, and burning up with a fever. I awoke once, blankets all around me and only my face peeking out of the covers, and I felt my cheeks and eyes burning with heat. I got a call from a friend, she sounded in really good health though I must have sounded like death. If it were any other night I would have told her to come over and we’d talk, but then I told her to stay away because I had a bad cold that was kicking my ass and I quarantined everyone. I was to get up at 5:00 and though I guessed that I’d feel horrible and a thirty minute bike ride might be taxing… what weighed heavily on my mind all night was the notion of carrying the virus that I had to the others at work. But that notion battled with the notion that I’d already given my word that I’d be there and regardless of the viral affect of my sickness the notion of calling in sick doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. I have to be near dead to call in sick. I struggle to think of any time I’ve ever called in sick… and the only time I can think of was last year when I had the flu. I worked, with the flu, as a bartender… but another bartender switched days with me the next day, giving me a day of rest.

But this is all said and done. I got up an hour early because I forgot about daylight savings time. I was able to watch Ground Force at five in the morning after having taken a shower. My fever had broken and I felt okay-ish. I went to work, tried very hard not to touch my face or mouth with my hands, and when I blew my nose I went to the bathroom and washed hands vigorously. I tried to be very careful. Hopefully it paid off.

But this episode is interesting to me because of something that happened while in the fever. I do not know if I was awake, asleep, or in between. I am going to guess that I was nearly awake but I am not sure. I knew I had a fever, I could feel it, and thoughts kept coming into my mind. Logical deduction was useless for I could not follow from one to the other. It wasn’t purely random, but there seemed to be no order in which association came next. I am familiar with the associations of thoughts and what I experienced was beyond that. The thoughts did not linger, but instead had a sort of beat to them. It wasn’t clockwork, it wasn’t timed, but it was steady. Something, I do not know what it was… perhaps a perception of something, a sound, a particular thought, something and if it was internal or external to my thoughts I cannot remember. But something took center stage. It was a detail, like the cuff of the blanket, … yes… I think it was the perception of something. Whatever it was, it was seperate and quite distinct from the pandamonium of thoughts. It was bright and white and crisp against a vague, bleak, ever changing background of ideas. This one thing was something that I could hold onto. Without this I felt powerless to act via my “self”. In fact, I had tried to get up, open my eyes, say something, bring in a thought to mind, something… something to show that I was in control of this pandamonium in the mind. Nothing worked… I could do nothing but recieve the random images and thoughts and feelings, one after the other, until something happened that my mind was able to latch onto, and this thing itself was, if I remember, of insignificant stature, but in the case of my present condition it was of the highest importance and when it began to fade in my perception I became anxious for its return, finding no substitute to hold onto.

I pondered this briefly while riding down the Willamette River bikepath at sun rise this morning. I was still sick and it still effected me. I was lethargic in thought, but the cold, silent glorious morning helped to reverse the feeling within me. I came out at the East end of Alton Baker park, the big field near the pond, to see the last half of the red sunrise over the Coburg Hills to the East. But I was unable to really delve into the problem. However, I have a feeling that it shall remain a memory and play a part in something in the future.


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