I’m fucking sick. I hate being sick. I know, who doesn’t? I always think I’m going to be the one that just doesn’t get sick, anymore, ever. It’s ridiculous. I eat well. Take care of myself. Take the vitamins.
Then you start seeing people around you fall. Everyone starts getting something. Then you feel like you are getting something almost always. To the point that you don’t even know if you are making it up.
So, a few things coincided for me last week. My mother was planning to come out for four days and I felt something coming on and I’m trying to get new jokes together and I’m about to move the garage. So, my vessel was operating at full emotional stress levels on all fronts. I am a rock. I am an island (that sometimes yells). I’m just trying to move through my life and just deal. Just show up for the stuff.
The night before my mother comes I feel great. I try to sleep it off. The next day I feel week and something is going on behind my face. Some kind of congestion. My chest feels tight. Energy low. I know there’s a flu out there that is killing people and I don’t really want to die with my mother in town but there is a sad sense of closure in that idea. Thursday I’m pretty ill. Just clammy and weak and the New York Times met me at the old house to cover the end of the garage. We are going through stuff. Memories. Artifacts. Taking pictures. My mother is there. The writer gets bonus content.
That night I sleep the sweaty sleep and that feels right. Maybe it’s over. Nothing really changes with me physically other than I am weak and sneezy. Friday morning, I have to interview an important playwright. I’m nervous about it but canceling would have been tricky because he was coming from the Westside and it was an early interview so I sucked it up and did it. I felt bad. I didn’t want to get him sick but I thought I would be better. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t sneeze. I did start sweating rather obviously at the beginning of the talk to the point that I was dabbing my forehead with a dish towel. He probably thought I was just nervous. I think it went ok.
Friday night, my mother decides dramatically that she is leaving a day early, Saturday, because I’m sick and she doesn’t want to make it worse. I tell her not to go and even though I’m weak and shitty on Saturday we go see art and eat stuff with Sarah the Painter. I also need to say that my mother doesn’t really have a nurturing bone in her body for humans. Dogs, maybe. So her way of dealing with sick people is just to insist you aren’t sick and when she gets annoyed to tell you to rest. Then she worried that she might get sick. I bought her a pretty purse. She left today, Sunday. Now the illness has moved into my guts and I have no idea what it is.
What’s the point of all this? I don’t like being sick. I have work to do. It would have been better if I had all of my defenses working properly when my mother was here. I could’ve pretended better and behaved a little better. It was good to see her.
I don’t regret not having kids but I start to realize one of the reasons you have them is when you are older and your parents are still alive it gives them a reason to hang out with you and it isn’t about you. It can be a bit much to be just one-on-one with parents when you are older. I mean, what’s left to say? Four days is the max, sick or well. Unless you have kids, then everyone gets what they want.
Today on the show I talk to Jennifer Lawrence about being Jennifer Lawrence. It was great. Love her. Thursday I talk to Bill Janowitz from the band Buffalo Tom. A old favorite of mine. Great talks!