So I have been sick for almost two weeks now. Sicker than I can remember being in a really long time. Fever, chills, antibiotics, coughing, and snot. So much snot! It is a horrible feeling to suddenly realize that you are actually choking on snot and you have to get it out somehow if you want to survive.
I have not been able to sleep until two nights ago, I have not been able to eat much of anything and I have coughed so violently that I seriously think my right eyeball has pushed forward out of its socket. It is now bigger than the left eye, of that I am certain.
In short, I have been miserable. My wife has been miserable (she caught it too, but luckily she went to the doctor before hers became an infection). And my kids have been amazingly self reliant and understanding. The good news is that my lungs are not damaged or full of fluid, and I am slowly starting to actually be able to function. I will go back to work at my retail job tomorrow, armed with a doctor’s note, a lingering cough, and a bulging right eyeball. Hopefully, all will be forgiven.
That does not mean that I am quite ready to be writing again. For one, I feel like I have to actually consciously make a choice not to choke on the lingering mucous while at the same time choosing not to throw up. My sense of smell is returning, with the caveat that right now everything smells terrible and tastes worse. I actually threw out my breakfast this morning because I could not handle the taste of toast. This was the first time I had tried to eat breakfast in the past twelve days.
This too will pass, eventually, or I will lose a whole lot of weight. Either way, I am good.
My kids are mad at me today, since I told them it was not a good time, nor a good idea, for them to do a lightsaber combat routine for their school talent show. This was an idea my daughter came up with. She is great at coming up with grand ideas.
Her, and her little brother, would use their taekwondo light sabers to hit each other onstage to Star Wars music and they would break boards and it would be great!
My thought: It will look like two little kids hitting each other with sticks. Child services will be called. It will all fall apart when my son realizes that he is expected to walk out on stage in front of a bunch of strangers, remember his moves, and not break into tears.
I am amazed that she managed to convince him to agree to this. I think she bribed him somehow and told him he could wear his Darth Vader mask.
Me: No. You can’t wear your Darth Vader mask and do karate. You can’t even see well enough to walk down the stairs with that thing on.
Him: Oh. Can I wear my Yoda mask then?
Me: Here are your waffles. Get a fork so you can eat them.
Him: NO! I can’t reach the forks! (Pushing his plate away and getting ready to refuse it on the basis that I dared to tell him to use a fork, instead of his fingers, to eat his syrup drenched breakfast.)
Me: (thinking fast, I ask my daughter,) Please hand your brother a fork. (She does.)
Me: (to my son,) There you go. What do you say?
Him: Don’t shove a fork in my face! You are trying to poke out my eyeballs!
Me: (shaking my head) Nobody is trying to poke out your eyeballs.
My Daughter: You are welcome…
And they wonder why I think it is a bad idea to rush together a fully choreographed stage fight in two weeks time for a show I won’t be able to attend and there is nobody to hold these imaginary boards that neither of them has mastered the breaking thereof…
This is not to say that I would not allow them to go for it, and guide them to success, if we had a bit more time to work on it. I think it might be cute to see two siblings whack each other with glowing sticks to Star Wars music. I just don’t think it will work this time around.
But I do really like when my assumptions get shattered and I encounter something that totally challenges my sensibilities and makes me examine the world in a new way. For instance, I am normally not a big fan of Heavy Metal music.
I know that a lot of people are, and my brother-in-law is in a heavy metal band. But to me, it has never really felt like music, just noise and screaming and rage. I never actually considered that it takes talent and skill, just like any other genre of music, to be able to do it well.
Then a friend posted the video below on facebook today of the band “Disturbed” performing a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence.”
Watch this video.
This guy is absolutely amazing, and you can hear the mastery he has obtained over his instrument (his voice). I now have a new found understanding of what it takes to be a Heavy Metal musician. Have I seen the light? Is the genre somehow magically for me?
No. But this one video does what all good art should do. It broke down my assumptions and woke me up to other possibilities. It made me examine my prejudices and realize that I was wrong.
I am still not going to let my kids hit each other with sticks. At least not in front of a school assembly. At home, whatever.
So long as they clean up the mess.
And don’t fall down the stairs wearing a Darth Vader mask.
Though, it would probably protect his eyes from being stabbed by forks.
There is that to consider…