February 20, 2012

Sickness talk

The last time I was sick and actually enjoying every second of it was second grade. It seems all of my great childhood memories were in that time. I was 8 or something. We were still living in a studio so my twin bed was in the living room along with my brother's. He had these really colorful dinosaur sheets. I can't recall what my sheets were like, but I'm sure it wasn't as awesome as his sheets since I can't even remember it. It was a school day and I wasn't in school. Instead I was under the covers, one of those thick, heavy, flowery ones. If you have any familiarity with Asians, you know what I'm talking about. There's always some type of pattern with some shade of red. My mother's had a peacock. Mine had huge red and pastel flowers all over. One side of the blanket felt silky so when you run your hand against it it'll smooth it out and everything looked perfect. That was one of my favorite things to do, petting the blanket. At least it behaved and didn't poop.  It seems life was easier with this blanket because now I have an Ikea down comforter with those duvets and life isn't as easy. It's still very warm, but I can't pet it like my Asian blanket. My mother took the day off to take care of me. I remembered my great aunt (that's what I called her, though I really don't know how she was related to me but she was related) came over and gave me five dollars. I forgot why, but I remembered wanting to be sick all the time so I can get more five dollars. Five dollars could have gotten me ten fudge popsicles or ten bottles of lucas. Even though I was sick, if the ice cream truck came by, I'd rush out the door and run after it.

On these sick days, besides blowing my nose and filling up so many plastic bags with my used tissues, I watched television all day. Daytime television wasn't made for kids (I know because they always had soap operas that had stuff my eyes should have not seen as a child) and PBS became my favorite network. I never knew what PBS stood for, but knew that before and after every show, they always thanked me "like viewers like you, thank you" and I'd always reply "you're welcome!" I never watched Nickelodeon or cartoon network because I didn't have cable. I remember I'd lie to the kids at school when they asked me if I had cable. I told me that I had it once, but my father cancelled it because I wouldn't do my homework. Everyone believed it.  I already knew I wasn't a typical kid, but I still wanted to fit in. So yeah, I used to have cable and watch TRL and Rugrats until my parents turned off our 20 inch tube.

Life as a sick child was not a struggle. Now at the ripe age of 23, I'm sick and there is a TV, a huge one actually, but it doesn't work. It sits quietly in our living room and constantly reminds me everyday that I am still poor. But it is quite encouraging because I really wish I can turn it on and watch The Notebook on there. Can you imagine Ryan Gosling's face on a 50 or so inch screen!? I ended up finishing The Catcher in the Rye instead. It makes me wish I wrote more during my teens angst years (what do you call angst in your early twenties? I feel like there should be a clever answer here and then that drum sound to state that it was a joke should play). But then, I wouldn't want to reread any of that because it'll just make me hate myself because I know how annoying I can be.

One thing I kind of like about being sick is my lost of taste and smell. It means I can make anything I wanted and it didn't matter how it tasted, as long as it filled me up. It means not being able to smell urine in the subways or smelling someone's fart, including my own. It means I can put sour cream and onion potato chips in my porridge and not be disgusted by it. But it also means I can't enjoy a freshly made avocado shake/smoothie or homemade angel hair pasta with mushroom and chicken alfredo sauce. I always feel these minor sicknesses happen to make us appreciate whatever that is hurting, more. Like when your elbow starts hurting for no reason and you begin to appreciate your elbow and pray to God that you won't ever mistreat your elbow ever again. I would think of other examples, but you know what I mean. You begin to give that part of your body more attention and tell everyone you encounter to be happy that theirs is functioning properly or at least looks normal. This reminds me a lot about people too, and how when someone gets sick, or gets mad or you, or something different happens to them and it changes your relationship negatively, you begin to focus on them and really appreciate them and wish you had done more and pray to God so many times to undo it all, to bring it back to the way it was before all of it happened.

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