Pink Walls

2005-07-26 17:32 - General

It's been quite some time since I posted anything personal or opiniony around here. I've been caught up in the tech stuff and plenty of other things recently. Let's reverse that trend! Here comes a post long enough to certainly make up for it!

Someone once said that if you can't laugh at yourself ... Well I don't remember the quote exactly, but it was bad. So with that in mind I'm going to tell the story that follows with as much humor as I can. Without the humor it's sad and disgusting. So read away, and try to laugh at me please. If I can't at least make someone laugh, what was all this for?

So I woke up this morning just like any other morning. Not quite any other, to be honest. They finally got more desks at work so I'll be going in regularly now. I'm thus waking up just a little earlier than any other morning, because the office is a little further away than I'm used to. Even though I'm working under absolutely no set schedule, I've basically stuck with what I'm used to.

I showered and dressed and ate breakfast like any other morning. I got outside and found that it wasn't nearly as hot as the weather report said it would be. Likely because it was still (relatively) early in the morning. Once on the train headed to work, I started reading as usual. Fifteen minutes or so into the ride, though, I developed a pain in my back that was quite uncomfortable. A few minutes later, it was so distracting I put the book down and was simply hoping I could stretch it out or ignore it until I could at least get off the train.

Another ten minutes or so later, I was much worse. I had the panting sweating oh-gosh-I-feel-bad, it's-way-too-hot-in-here's. I am particularly sensitive to strong heat, and though the trains are air conditioned sometimes they're just too crowded and it doesn't cut it. This didn't so much seem like one of those days, though. It was only a couple minutes later that the pain doubled from my back, to my back and my gut. I was in relative agony.

I couldn't sit up, I couldn't slouch down, I couldn't stretch or do anything, I just felt like crap. I tried to grin and bear it, but eventually I couldn't take it anymore. I started feeling slightly more sick, and I had to get off the train and out in the open a bit. As luck had it, when this need struck me, I happened to end up getting out in about the perfect station for it. Unlike most subway stations which bottle in all the heat that the many people and trains create, this one was laid out in such a way that the trains entering and leaving (or perhaps nature? who knows) caused a nearly constant breeze which made me feel quite a bit better.

I got off the train rather near a garbage can, which in NY subways are these giant metal cylinders which slope up and in to nearly a sphere at the top, with the opening perhaps a half or a third of the diameter of the whole thing. I took my combined illness and weakness (uh oh, I am really getting sick! though I barely realized it at the time) and laid myself down on the convenient edge of the garbage can with my elbows. That didn't last, though. I got weaker, and I couldn't stand. Before long, I was curled up on the floor of the subway station like a bum. I was in pain, and only slightly sure that I wasn't about to puke.

With all the crap my body was throwing at me, I didn't have much space in between to think much, but I was thinking, "How great for this to happen in Manhattan. I can probably lay here like a bum, rest it out, and be on my way without too much (extra) fuss." But, almost beyond my belief, in the five or ten minutes that I lay there prostrate on the dirty (gosh I wish I had the strength to NOT lie down there!) subway station floor, TWO different people came up and asked me, "Are you alright?" I had to say, basically, that I was feeling ill and I just needed some rest and could you just go away and not bother me now? That was a slight breath of fresh air though, to see that yeah people really do care a bit. The city can make you rather cynical (or more, if you already are.

Now it gets strange. After a short rest, I stood up again and did actually manage to maintain my feet. For some reason at this point, I got back on the Queens bound train and continued heading to work. I was clearly rather confused at the time. Didn't take a single stop before I figured out that was a bad idea, though. At that next stop, I got out and back on a Brooklyn bound train. This was probably the most uncomfortable part of the day. It took 30 to 40 (I didn't barely count) minutes to get back to my stop (the end of the line). Being Brooklyn bound during the morning rush hour, the trains were much emptier, though not completely. I, lacking the capacity to care at the time, made a rather fool of myself as I sat down, then slouched down, then tried to lie down on two seats and fail, then switch back and forth a few times, switch seats for more room as people shifted on and off the trains, and then eventually end up mostly asleep on my side across three seats. I was in rather a lot of pain.

Then, finally, the train was where I was going. I got off and promptly set out into the second most uncomfortable part of the day. Two rather lengthy sets of stairs up and out of the (as usual) superheated subway station, then a few blocks back to my apartment for, gasp! horror!, more stairs before I could lie down and continue wishing I were dead. I felt like an elderly old man, shuffling along, holding stair rails with both hands, barely managing to transport my own body along. Right outside the entrance to the station is a car service that, for what reason I don't quite know, usually keeps a few chairs about directly in front of their buildling. I took advantage of this and sat down, because the stairs took a lot out of me.

Reaching into the home stretch, I managed somehow to drag myself along around the two corners and across to my apartment. I then promptly unlocked my door, took a swig of Pepto Bismol to try to calm my stomach down, and a little water half on my head half in my mouth to cool off. I then stripped as quick as I could manage in my current state and flopped on the bed, where I proceeded to toss and turn, each position aggrivating either my back or my gut, and generally feeling miserable.

Don't ask me how long I was there, but after a bit I decided I needed to go to the bathroom. I had felt this way all morning, and tried again and again to piss without much of any result. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this time there certainly was a result! I sat down, not knowing for certain what or if I would manage to squeeze out, but thinking that the extra room in my belly would certainly feel better either way. Boy, was I in for a surprise. I figure it was the extra pressure that I put my abdomen under that caused me to rapidly realize that my stomach had had perfectly enough, today, and had decided to empty itself, no matter what I said.

As mentioned, at the time I was sitting on the toilet. This happened unfortunately more rapidly than my mind could handle in my poor condition, so rather than gracefully spin around to keep the contents of my belly at least in the toilet if they didn't like being in my stomach, I spewed them around in an arc as I attempted to do that and fail. Enter the pink walls: The Pepto earlier clearly did not help my stomach any, but it did put a hefty effort into giving my bathroom a makeover. The walls did not look better colored mostly pink with the contents of my stomach, suffice to say.

I was in no position to deal with that, so I just barely managed to get some litter out into the hallway (in the litterbox, thank you very much!) for the cat in case, and just closed the door. Bad idea by the way. Not that I had any other choice at the time, but letting it dry and set for a while did not make cleaning it up any easier. I returned to the bed, and tossed and turned a bit. Found a few positions that didn't aggrivate me, if they didn't help me feel any better either, and then took the single sick day pleasure: I watched The Price is Right.

By noon, when it was over, I had fallen asleep, thank goodness! I woke up feeling not exactly good, but better. From then on it was a gradual recovery to where I managed to (ah, joy!) clean up the mess in the bathroom, and generally begin to resume living. It's still a sick day, though. Discounting my breakfast which certainly doesn't count, I have had nothing but water and Kool-Aid all day, and am still a bit afraid to put anything more down my gullet. Besides that though, the experience seems to be at a conclusion which is certainly the silver lining of today's dark dark cloud.


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