Sickness has descended. Upon my body. My brain’s foggy. Words escape me. Can’t think straight. Not long ago. Read a story. By Colum McCann. Fabulous Irish author. Highly recommend him. Cleverly crafted sentences. Each three words. Unless I’m misremembering? Might try it. Especially when sick. Easier on brain? Don’t think so. Feels too hard. Giving up already.
I can see the attraction, though, and I think the technique of tiny word bites might match my sickness-induced disconnected thoughts. I feel too fogged up right now to hold onto them for any length of time, or to try to link them together coherently. I’m like a famous world leader at a press conference: whoosh, shooting off half-formed thoughts like a pellet in a pin ball machine – where they end up, no one knows. I feel like I’ve been on a flight that has dropped too quickly on its descent, you know when you get that dual hit of nausea and light-headedness? Well, my descent was yesterday; a gentle crash-landing into six hours of television, fogging my brain even more. Flicking at the remote faster than a teenager on a smartphone didn’t help. I had moments of clarity until, like a ball of silly putty hitting the ground, I would bounce back at unpredictable, random angles, all wobbly and weak limbed. M. called. De-scope, she advised. I told her I had already cancelled dinner with A., that I might have to let B. know I can’t come over, and that there’s no way I can drive to meet up with C. “Are you working through the alphabet, or is that just a coincidence?” she asked me. Brain too foggy to have made it up.
I remembered a message that J. once sent to me when I was going through another foggy patch, this one less associated with illness. She told me: “Trust it will be really restorative for you and you’ll have lots of bright moments to ease your passage through the fog. Fog is the word as it disorientates and covers with a cool blanket of grey. Fog lifts unexpectedly and there is light, clarity and colour.” She’s right; sometimes a cloak of fog can feel overbearing and confusing, but other times it can feel protective. This particular cloak of fog is doing both: frustrating me and forcing me into an inert state from which I’ll (hopefully) recover more quickly. The fog descending can either feel disturbing, or feel like a temporary shield. I’ve decided it’s time to drop out of life for a few days and use the fog as my shield. I cancelled C. who sent me a photo of the hills of Donegal cloaked in fog, a lone sheep standing in the middle of the road, like a passive hoofed highwayman. Staring, as if to say: ‘What’s your problem? I was here first.’ I woke up this morning and wondered if I had dreamt it. No, there’s the photo on my phone. The cat walking over me was a dream, though. I don’t have a cat. It’s my standard sick dream, along with walking the wrong way on an airport moving walkway making no progress. I never get to the gate. I wake myself from the dream because I know it is a dream and it is irritating me. Besides, I need water. I slug from the glass and spill it all down myself. Ahhh! Now there’s a wet patch in the bed.
Night time disaster. Little over-dramatic? Are you kidding! Course I am. Can’t sleep now. Limbs too heavy. Need to pee. Couldn’t be bothered. Fall asleep again. Wake up late. Still aching today. Flying back tomorrow? Might not bother. Wait and see. Honey and lemon. Another wee sleep.