if this were 30 years ago and i were sick as i am today, i would also have stayed home. i would also have watched tv. i would also have not eaten much. i would also have wished mr. rogers were my family. i would also have felt helpless and alone. i would also have ached and burned up. i would also have craved a magazine that would take away the discomfort of flu. distraction is powerful.
if this were 30 years ago, i would also have stayed home but home would have been a house instead of an apartment and there would have been people around me instead of nobody though i would have disliked those people. i would have eaten chicken soup which would have done nothing but make the maker feel better while now i eat pea soup for the protein. i know mr. rogers is not my family and that he is dead. i miss work instead of school but feel the same fear of the world passing me by and me not minding it so much because the world that passes me by may not be the world i desire to live in because not all is perfect in that world.
i know distraction is not powerful. i know healing is possible. i am sick and can't think clearly. my temperature won't stop being a fever and though i know fever kills the illness it hurts my back and eyes. i don't like today and though i hope not to be sick tomorrow i may not like tomorrow. something isn't right in the world that's passing me by. fever brings clarity.
toothpaste when sick tastes the same as it did 30 years ago. sour and awkward. crest. my body knows being sick. my body knows flu. it it timeless. where i am has changed. who i am changes each breath but sometimes who it changes to lines up with who i was 30 years ago. once i missed two weeks of school with something. i think strep throat. i was surprised that when i came back kids had signed a card welcoming me back. i knew it wasn't sincere because i knew it wasn't. some kids who signed it were bullies. the hardest part about sliding back into the world that is passing me by is welcoming myself back. i can't count on cards from anyone now. sincere or not. i have to welcome myself back into an imperfect life. i wonder what i missed today. 30 years ago being sick meant missing how to write the letter "i" in cursive or the mystery of the schwa sound finally revealed.
what worries me most is that rejoining the world after a day of fever, a day of being out of it, will reveal i have missed nothing besides the roles i fill. nothing besides being somewhere. being sick hurts for what is revealed that i miss and don't miss about my outside life. in that, 30 years ago and today are the same.