Sharp knives of light and energy penetrate every pore of my scalp. Underneath the daggers plays a constant hum. HUMMMMMMMM. It does not pulsate. It does not waiver. It is a steady overall explosion of my brain in technicolor.
The winding of a baseball bat behind my head. Hands, clown hands, grip the bat. My mouth opens in surprise wide. My eyes watch, realizing, knowing, anticipating the release. I smile. A big huge clown smile without lipstick. I don’t do lipstick. It comes fast. It comes hard. Bright lights explode behind my eyes. It feels good.
Cartoons before the show started. And now the show starts—dark, menacing scenes and stories.
I am not a fan of horror or violence. But I keep watching it. I don’t know how to turn off my mind’s projector. And I don’t know if I would if I could.
There is a common theme. Anger, rage, and in the end, a dark-haired woman points a gun at me and shoots, point-blank. I am okay with that. But then a new movie starts. The film quality is outstanding. Probably shot with a RED or maybe real film. And the edits! I envy the edits. And there was sound too. Good, Dolby sound. And amazing foley. Really.
But the important thing are the storylines. They are engaging. I should reach for my notepad in my bedstand to write them down, but I am confident that I couldn’t forget them even if I wanted to. I am always confident I will remember them. I never do. Hence the notepad. This was not an exception. I watch the scenes. The dark, depressing, scenes in wonder.
Through the fever, pain, aches, chills, vomiting, nausea, coughing, and diarrhea, COVID took my brain, sifted out the last 62 years, and revealed me. “Well, hello there. Been awhile. You going to stick around this time or drown in your remaining years?”
I sit up prostrate in bed. I don’t know where I am, but I am drenched in water. My sheets are wet. My comfy pj’s are wet. My blankets are wet. My pillow is drenched. My hair is soppy wet. I raise my arms to pull off my shirt, and the body odor knocks me out. Seriously. I get out of bed, and the air-conditioned air feels…so nice. That in itself is weird. The hum remains. I begin a slow crawl upstairs.
I am sleeping in the guest room. My husband, Chris, is in our room suffering through the same virus. He has had it longer. That tells you something. My goal is to find dry clothes. “I hate this house.” I have said this over and over through the night terrors. It is actually a beautiful house. We’ve been here for many years. Chris has done impressive things to it. I don’t know why, but I hate it. Have I always hated it? Yes. That will hurt his feelings. Stop it. You count too. Your truth counts too. Want another hit in the head?
“Pam, I woke up drenched. I used all the towels to dry off. Sorry.” Chris croaks in the dark. Our bath towels lay at the foot of the bed. I find and put on some dry clothes and butt slide down the stairs back to the guest room.
I don’t know if I should take more acetaminophen. I do. I shouldn’t have. I discover the rinse and repeat affect over the next several hours and days. Nausea starts followed by a run to the bathroom, the chills, the aches, the cough, the dry heaves, shallow breathing, and the humming. I haven’t eaten much in days. Everything I eat lingers in my mouth. I try a banana, an apple, a Dr. Pepper. The after taste is revolting. I try to replace it with yogurt, sour apple hard candy, and water. Water is a glorious thing.
The bat lines up. The movies start, and I am once again profoundly engaged in storylines I believe I will never forget, but I do except the woman, at the end, and her point-blank shot.
I am convinced that the COVID bats live in my body. They eat everything in the dark cave of my empty stomach. They hang together on my scarred lungs, happy as little hairy bats in a warm moist cave could be. I hate them. I think that is what I smell. They leave their feces and urine in my brain. They scavenge my thoughts. I am officially insane. At least I have my never-ending movies. No popcorn.
I wake Monday morning. I can walk upright, sort of, to the bathroom, which I do as quickly as I can. Holding it. Holding it. I make it. I sit on the toilet, door open, cause really, why not? I look up the small staircase to a floor’s eye view of the front room. I think to myself, “How pretty, it looks like an abstract water feature on the dark wood. The sun is really amazing! Look how the light and shadows play …..” Oh crap.
TO BE CONTINUED – Part 2 – The Flood.