I picked up a souvenir when we were in Californa, carried it with me to Las Vegas and home to New York yesterday.
You might be thinking I bought a beachy looking snow globe, a pen in the shape of a surfboard or the quintessential beach t-shirt but you would be wrong.
What I picked up is the worst cold I’ve had in years. Two days before we left California I came down with a scratchy throat. By the next day, it was in my chest and head. We flew to Las Vegas for four days where the cold worsened (I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that I spent hours in a smokey casino and had very little sleep), but I managed to drag myself around having fun. Each step felt like I was moving legs of lead but did I rest? Of course not, it’s LAS VEGAS!
Flying home yesterday with a stop at BWI meant two take-offs and landings. If you’ve flown with a head cold, you know that when the plane descends, it makes your head feel as if it is going to explode. I had loaded up on the decongestants ( the good stuff from behind the counter), but it didn’t matter. When we landed in Baltimore, I was sure my brains were oozing out of my eyeballs, and my ears were so plugged that I felt as if I were underwater. I didn’t think it could get worse, but when we finally landed in Albany, I was almost certain they would have to scrape what was left of me off the airplane ceiling.
After a fitful nights sleep, I made myself go to the office to do some things that could not wait.I managed to stay for three hours before I drove myself home and fell into bed.
That is when this happened….
I was driving in my car on a gravel road. The terrain was hilly, and the fields were green. I parked in a row of cars and got out. I noticed a building with a sign that said “Inn”so I walked into the registration area only to see distant family members running the place. The pregnant woman behind the counter asked me to rub her belly and sing to the baby. I bent over and sang “Yankee Doodle” right into her belly button.
Suddenly, I found myself back at my car where I discovered that a large box truck had parked beside me, and the overhang on the truck side was over my roof, scraping the paint. I couldn’t get in or move the car. I swore.
Two men, carrying golf clubs and a football, came by but didn’t respond to my plea for help, so I followed them into another building which turned out to be a bar. I must have had a drink or two because I didn’t know how I got there when I looked around and found myself in my sister’s laundry room, wrapping a plastic shower cap as a gift. She told me I wasn’t allowed to watch TV and asked me to drive her to the Dairy Queen.
The phone was ringing, but nobody would answer it. Ring Ring! Rinnnngggggggg! Ring Ring!
Somewhere in the fever haze, I managed to come to enough to realize that it was my phone ringing and that I’d been having a fever dream that rivaled the television show Twin Peaks (but missing the smoking guy). Now I have “Yankee Doodle” playing in an endless loop in my head accompanied by the drum beat of my pulse in my plugged up ears.
Tonight there will be NyQuil and tomorrow a trip to urgent care. On the way home I’ll stop and buy that plastic shower cap. You never know when you’ll need a little hostess gift…