the land of counterpane
one of my favorite books to thumb through over and over again as a child was robert louis stevenson's a child's garden of verses
. i had a beautiful copy, hardback, with a lovingly worn dust jacket, and glossy pages of sweet illustrations of ringletted english boys and girls in frilly blouses, dresses, and bloomers. one poem i remeber is "in the land of counterpane" which is about the ways in which a little boy amuses himself as commander of his own armies and fleets on the hills and valleys of his blankets while he is sick in bed. for the past couple of days, i have been in my very own land of counterpane. and while i'm not commanding regiments of tin soldiers, i am instead commandeering sex and the city
episodes on dvd, an endless supply of water to drink, rolls of toilet paper for sniffling, snotting, and hacking into, a scarf to keep my screamingly sore throat warm, and my phone, for making sad-sack calls to my mother and for having to call in sick to work and to class on the first day of the spring quarter.
it seems i've brought home from new york the kind of souvenir i wouldn't wish on anyone. it's one of those nasty toss-and-turn, hack till you hurl, hot-hot-hot then cold-cold-cold, my head is going to explode, ears clicking, can i mix nyquil with tylenol 3 and not die? kinds of cold-slash-flu that set upon me the very last night of my holiday in the big apple. with our last event done (a gorgeous drinks-dinner-stroll with my dad and step-mom who had arrived in town from toronto that afternoon) there was nothing left to do but to firm up the departing details, cram all the purchases and goodies into our already overstuffed suitcases, and to wind down, feet up to ease the ache of the leg muscles and the bite of the blisters. and then... the coughing came. and the dizzyness. and the "i can't lift my leg to climb into the bathtub." and the next morning was no better; it was streaming tears to ruin our room service breakfast, it was me wandering from room to room in the suite uncertain of what i was doing, it was me being scared i couldn't carry my bag down the hall. then it was a six hour flight, wedged in an economy seat, no way to sleep comfortably without breaking my neck.
it was awful. and it's not much better, two days later, as i lay in my land of counterpane, the straight-A student (two quarters running, now!) sad to have to miss the first day of school, trying not to laugh for fear it may cause coughing when the person taking my 'calling in sick' message at work said in earnest, "wow, you're not faking it" after hearing my shaky, scratchy, pip-squeak voice. so it's one more day sick a-bed, with my trusted bear keaton by my side, the ever-present roll of toilet paper, the hot tea with honey and lemon, and the oatmeal i choke down not out of hunger but so that i might injest more high-powered medication. all this, in hopes "to keep me happy all the day."
now excuse me whilst i go hack up another portion of lung.