Remember the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Dr. Striker mistakenly created a new quickly-mutating airborne super virus which infected the entire crew except for Captain Picard and Data? And they finally beat the virus when Data created an antidote and administered it via the ship’s circulation system while Captain Picard was busy electrocuting Lieutenant Worf in the crawl space between floors? That’s the virus we have in my house right now. I’m sure of it.
First it feels as if Tasmanian Devils are ripping the inside of my stomach to shreds. Then it turns to a bad cold with aches and a fever. Then more Tasmanian Devils. Then I feel better, then more fever and cold and now wicked fatigue. It just won’t go away. Those around me have had various bits of my virus, but I’m special so I’ve had it all. I’m like the Anti-Picard, going down with my ship; he remained unaffected by the virus, while I must feel everything my crew members suffer through. I’ve just jumped Jean-Luc Picard on the badass scale, so I do have that going for me.
I’d say I’m patient zero, but my mother tells me one of the men she works with in The Hague has the same symptoms I do, and has for a bit longer (I did not even get to snog or have sex with that cute Dutch man to get his illness, and that is grossly unfair). I’ve been fighting this thing since my Christmas trip to my Mom’s in Pennsylvania, and in my stomach-shredding, fevery state I was rather pissed off with Pennsylvania. I hadn’t been sick in years….until Pennsylvania. Rat bastard Pennsylvania! But then after some Alka Seltzer Plus it occurred to me: my Mother, not poor Pennsylvania, is to blame. She is the common denominator between the Dutch man and myself, and so, as anyone who has had years of therapy already knew, it’s all my mother’s fault.
And my children’s. While I’d like to attribute the extreme fatigue to the virus, I think it might have something to do with my children and their need to keep me abreast of their own symptoms throughout the night. They need to keep me up-to-date on the status of the symptoms with which they went to bed. They need to share concerns about new symptoms, and speculate upon which symptoms they might have next. But most important, they need to feel out what my decision will be about school attendance the next day.
“Moooom? ” they whisper, “If I feel like this in the morning? Do I have to go to school?”
“Moooom? If I get that stomach thing next, should I stay home?”
“Moooom? If lemurs fly out of my butt? Can I stay home tomorrow?”
Yes, child. Then you may stay home, because the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school attendance policy clearly covers lemur butt-emergence.
Add to this one more topic for midnight discussions: a week of sub-freezing weather discussed by local weathermen for whom predictions of frozen precipitation are akin to masturbation, and I just haven’t been able to get a good night’s sleep to help me shake this thing.
“Moooom?” The boys ask in the middle of the night, ” It’s starting to rain, and it was supposed to go down to twenty eight degrees. Do you think the roads will freeze?”
“Moooom? If the lemurs fly out of my butt and float up because they are warm, cooling as they go, only to come back down as frozen lemur-precipitation, creating frozen lemur black ice……do you think we’ll have school?”
We already covered lemurs. Please go back to bed.