Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's morning already *note: edited for more awesomness on October 18th

When I close my eyes I dream I work at Red Lobster.

In my dream a giant lobster claw is waving at me.

I think my dreams are animated by clawing, because I can't breathe at night.  I get woken by fits of coughing. I  swallow hard, clearing my throat.  It takes a few seconds, but then I can breathe.


I am burping up the acid reflux.  I am tasting the chalky residue of antacids I chew right before bed.

My jaw is clenched.  I think I forgot to brush my teeth tonight.  When I rub my tongue along my teeth I notice they lack the slick polish they receive from the tooth brush.  Nighttime forgetting to brush my teeth "again" has turned into 3 months of not brushing at all.

My skull is pounding.

The membranes in my head are draining.  One sinus is always stuffed.  Whatever is blocking my sinus likes to follow the physiological path down to my ear.

My ears are pouches of white flaky skin that I press between my fingers to turn red.  The redness looks just like an infection from a poorly done piercing at the mall.

The internet tells me that there are 14 possible causes for itchy, dry earlobes.  The syndromes that cause it have scary sounding names.  Most of the syndromes involve exposure to the cold.

But my extremities do not suffer from contact with the cold.  I live in a desert.  The temperature gauge in the hallway indicates that the air is 87 degrees in my apartment.   I note the date is October 14th.

I am not awake because of the heat.   I have insomnia. I would try to sleep during the day, but I am forced to wake early, because my bed faces the sun in the morning.  The mattress I sleep on is crooked and no matter which end of the bed I lay my head on the balance of the bed tilts my neck lower than my hips and feet.

When I can't sleep I watch late night reruns of a TV show where a curmudgeon doctor makes obscure diagnoses.  He finds these possibilities in random encounters of the banal.

I should try to sleep, but I force myself to stay awake.  I know the Gastric Reflux Disease likes to work at night when I am relaxed.

My relaxed epiglottis peels back which allows  stomach acid to pour down the chimney of my esophagus.  Saint Nick like.  Delivering presents to the needy school children in David Copperfield.

Unconsciously it causes me to suck air in and cough it back out.  I think that drags stomach acid in to my lungs.  My heartburn spreads outward from my chest to make my fingers tingle.

It is morning already.

It is the morning of the big healthcare protest. I need to decide if I am going to allow myself to be arrested at the protest.

There is a cute girl on Facebook who wants me to get arrested with her.  She promised me a protest t-shirt if I go to the protest and get arrested.

We would hold hands together and block sidewalks, and the police would have no choice but to arrest her.   And to arrest me.

I have seen protests before.  At community college I saw a woman protest date rape.  She had her mouth taped shut with masking tape.  A silent protest.

I always worry I will get a cold if I do the silent protest.   I fear my death will be like that of one of the characters in the David Foster Wallace novel Infinite Jest.   I will die with tape around my mouth.  With sinus fluids blocking my nasal airways.   Desperately sucking for air through my nose.  But nothing comes.

I know this sounds crazy.

But I don't worry about a normal death.  A death brought on by a lifetime of eating too much chocolate.  The slow tango of heart disease.

I do not worry that chemotherapy will emaciate my pudgy waist line until I spill over into a bowl of Count Chocula, my bald head bouncing on the table smartly.
The dumbstruck cocker spaniel in the corner of the dining room, next to the antique sewing machine, staring up at me, wordless and panting- from his morning run with my young wife- who continues to shower, not knowing what has befallen me.  So I am not handed baby aspirin.  And no one calls 9-1-1.

My last thoughts revolve around worries that if  I soil myself,  "Does anyone know we recently purchased baby wipes with aloe 100% alcohol free?"

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