Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hip is being sick

Being sick is hip, I tell you. It's instant style. You go out floating on a physical high caused by your body attacking bacteria. 'Oh, my voice? Yeah, it gets raspy like I'm gargling marbles when I have strep throat.' You go to the cute underage blonde at the cash register and slam two gallons of premium priced orange juice on the counter. You're sick, you can't have no ordinary orange juice. You fumble a handful of loose change from you pocket having had no time to use Coinstar. She recoils, but accepts your pennies out of sympathy and fear of getting sick if you stick around. You're not some nobody normal person when you're sick. You're doing life's dance and having an experience. You're someone: you're a sick man. You stumble out toward the parking lot and start swilling the OJ on the spot. A hooker stops to laugh.

Then you get cravings for for things you never eat: ranch sunflower seeds, toasted shrimp, artichoke flavored ice cream, three eclairs. You tap into things more easily as if in an out-of-body experience. Kind of like the playoff game where Michael Jordan had the flu and still scored 38 points. Some random lass asks you to make out, you say you can't, she digs you more. This guy has depth, she thinks. You're in the zone. You also get hired when you're sick, out of pity and not being a run-of-the-mill robotic candidate.

Plus, it evokes memories of Christmas. It's the sickest season. Sick on Christmas, the best. Dying on Eve with body aches from some government virus, then you get stuff and you're too sick to pay attention. It affords you the greatest Christmas gift of all—the gift of not having to say thanks for anything. Family warps into caricatures: the drunk uncle, the angry dad, the aunt who hits on your orphan friend.

Oh, you know, the guy sitting in the corner who has no loving family so he spends the holidays at your house. The asbestos and lead paint at his home have even found their way inside his canned food. He only gets one gift. It's always shitty. A pleather Packer's wallet. A shirt in a can. He eats up all the turkey. Hasn't had a homemade meal since Thanksgiving. Poor Franco. It's always a variation of Frank. Freddy, Frankie, Franco, Frank. They always try introducing him to the resident wench aunt no one will marry. 'She can get you papers, Franco! Have some wine and sign the contract,' they say. He wears a fake gold cross and a Timex plastic watch from Dollar Tree. He's the illegitimate child of Rupert Murdoch but too proud to ask for help. He drives an '89 Toyota hatchback and has a boombox in the back in place of an actual car stereo. It sports Q101 stickers, B96 stickers, Tasmanian Devil floor mats, a limp antenna. It's the car he lived in for weeks, after a girl offered him a house and he took it as a sign of pity and dumped her. Later he decided to pawn the Virtual Boy in his truck. Starving, he used the $5 on a lottery ticket. He won $2. Used it on a lottery ticket. And lost. He stole a young kid's McFlurry from the beach. Wanders Michigan Avenue mugging yuppies. Ends up doing the dishes on Christmas out of gratitude. Fat aunt Hilda hovers lovingly above him. He only likes The Shins. Sorry for the tangent.

So yes, the world is your oyster when sick. Every bodily fluid possible exits your person. Yes, you don't even lose the will to wank. You restore them all with warm soup, another childhood staple. Like an elixir with little bits of chicken. Sickness is the magic of nostalgia. It brings back the breezes and clean air that sweep away Autumn leaves. Your body vibrates with warmth. Your pupils dilate. Your consciousness raises perhaps with the help of the codeine in cough syrup. Movies make sense at another level and you feel them rather than see them. Your hallucinations place you inside the godhead. Your inhibitions lower. You limp and lean, perfecting the pimp walk you could never handle. You have an excuse for the wrong you do and missing school. You're finally the bed-ridden, pill-popping ideal.

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