Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Heat wave, no, not summer. Fever burning within. A slow creeping 104 sizzles my brain. A mysterious illness has me in its viselike grip. This is the third day and the fever shows no sign of letting up. I drift in and out throughout the day; I begin to have the funniest thoughts as I lie there shivering in my self-heat. No, not funny ha-ha, funny odd.

My only company is the whirl of the sluggish ceiling fan over my bed, chop, chop, chopping the stale air and the buzz of the insects that manage to find the small hole in the screen. For some reason, I’ve never seemed to cultivate the kind of friends that would nurse a person through an illness. Maybe they would if I asked, but I don't and I refuse to let them see me looking this shitty anyhow. Vain, yes.

Soon I begin to talk and bargain with the ceiling fan as if it were some noble listening God, “You are so God damn lame, you fuckin’ fan!”

“You heard me…. you can’t even cool off a little queer boy!”

"You suck! God damn it! You suck!"

“Oh God, help me…. oh God, I’m going to die here!”

I ramble on for hours and keep listening for a reply. Nothing. The house is quieter than a tomb. I reach for a blister pack of Zithromax, swallow two and settle myself back onto the wet sheets of the tiny bed. Soon I’m slipped back in unconsciousness trying to remember a cooler time. A cool mental blanket of snow seemed to fall over me as I struggled against the darkness.

When I finally woke up, it after midnight and I was still shaking as if it was still that cold, far away Christmas Eve I’d been dreaming about. My thirst and my desire to piss took me from the soaked bed in search of water. As soon as I stood up, I immediately fell over a stack of books and began to curse the ceiling fan again.

“God damn it, ya fucker…I’m dying down here. You could have fuckin’ told me about this stinking pile of books!”

“Oh God, I’m dying, why am I dying…. I’m so alone and I fuckin’ hurt.”

I was starting to sound a lot like Camille even to my own ears, so I shut the hell up and just lay there panting. Finally, I get to my feet and headed to the kitchen. I almost cried when I open the refrigerator door and saw the empty ice-water pitcher. I turned the cold tap on and stuck my head under the faucet for five minutes, just letting the cold water run over my fried brain. Pastel colors danced before my eyes as I drank deeply from the spigot. After I stopped, I began to feel nauseous so I decided that I had better go outside to cool off. Moments after I’d sat down on the back stoop, I began to vomit all of the water back up in one unending ugly torrent. Everything went black and I caught myself falling to the ground.

‘Oh God, no…no!”, I began to sob, frustrated with all this blacking-out and falling down every little bit. Well, you should be in the bed, dumb ass, I scolded myself. Swirling black spots began to dance before eyes again as I felt myself slipping away to never-never land.

“Shit!” I swore one last time.

“Clark! Clark…come here, damn it!” I could hear JoAnn in the background.

I felt a rough hand gasp my arms, “I think he’s passed-out drunk.”

I was rolled over, “Oh My God!” they both gasped in unison.

“Go call 911!”

“What’s wrong with him, Clark ?”

“Go call 911, JoAnn, now!”

I heard laughter then, I think it was Norton…

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