Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


The Bug.

It's going around, as they say.

It came to us. It wasn't nice.

The headline and first two paragraphs are probably enough warning about what is to follow, so if you're still reading, here's what happened: we were sitting there in the lounge room after a lovely dinner - linguine with some ragu, nice and light for spring - when T., who had been idly flicking through a magazine, said she didn't feel so well. Within a second she was propelled back into her chair by some kind of weird G-Force, while at the same time something shot across the room at the speed of light and all of a sudden we had an unfinished Jackson Pollock on the opposite wall. Maybe a finished one. You never know with Jackson Pollock.

No warning at all. The bug is like that.

T. spend the ensuing hour or two adding to the Jackson Pollock, just not in the lounge room, and then went to bed and writhed in agony. And she doesn't even like modern art.

In the morning, I played Mr Nurse and plumped up the cushions and threw up the blinds and I put T. on our traditional regime for recovering from stomach bugs: flat lemonade and bed rest, then in the evening dry toast with a thin scrape of vegemite, which will cure anything, and the next day whe was almost back to normal.

Meanwhile, I felt a bit odd but tried to hold off because I had to work Friday. I can do that with illness sometimes. I think most people can. That's why everyone gets sick on holidays. The making-money instinct has finally defeated the let-the-body-recover instinct.

It hit me on Saturday. I couldn't even sip water. The worst of it was that I had a raging thirst that couldn't be slaked. In the evening, I sat a glass of lemonade on the bedside table. I tossed and turned and didn't sleep. I gazed at the lemonade, took a tiny sip, felt sick and lay down.

At midnight I thought it was morning because it was light. The bedside lamp was on. Then I must have fallen asleep again because during the night, the glass of lemonade turned into a crystal clear stream of water with delicious bubbles of spritz rising out of it, hissing. I tried to drag myself towards it, craving water like a man in the desert, but the stream became a mirage. Then it stopped being a mirage and turned into a deep waterhole, cool and peaceful, and I crawled over the edge and dived into the precious clear liquid and tried to drink some of it but ended up with a mouthful of dust and dead beetles. Then I woke up.


They call it the Twenty-Four Hour Bug. Which is a good name because you know it will be over in a day, as it was for both of us, but getting through each of those twenty-four hours is like trying to roll a giant boulder half a mile and shoving it off an abyss.


Terry Oglesby said...

Sorry to hear about the distress--nothing quite so bad as having a sick little one and then cathing what they had. You love them, but after the heaves hit, you have bad thoughts about them and wonder why they had to go and share.

kitchen hand said...

Ironically, Terry, it was a visiting fifteen-month-old who set the ball rolling by heaving on the loungeroom floor!

Terry Oglesby said...

Wow--Jackson Pollock on the walls AND on the floor! Your appreciation of modern art is impressive.

lucette said...

Lyrical though this description was, I hope to give it a pass.