The Unbearable Banishment: Brush with death

Monday, October 17, 2011

Brush with death

I was knocked on my ass with the flu all weekend. All my life I've had a fairly healthy constitution and never had a propensity to get sick. Since I have no benchmark for what it's like to be really ill, something like the flu seems cataclysmic to me. But this was a bad one. I didn't leave my bed for two days and was delirious.

I slept for astonishingly long periods of time. I occupied a half awake/half asleep dream state whereby I could hear things going on around me but couldn't respond to any of it. I looked really, really bad and was moaning a lot. At one point, 9-Year Old Daughter walked up to me and asked, in all seriousness, "Dad, are you going to die?"

I was tossing in bed having one of my torturous fever-dreams. Mrs. Wife and the two Daughters were gone from my life. Just like that! Pfft! No reason was provided by the devils sticking forks in me. Someone walked up and asked me, "Do you feel liberated?" I knew what he meant. And I thought about it. And my answer welled up from the part of me that was still of sound mind and I yelled at him, "No! Bring them back immediately!"

* * *

I started feeling dizzy on Friday night while in a Broadway house seeing Venus in Fur. If you were in the audience for that performance and don't feel quite up to par, you can blame me.

Hugh Dancy is such a good actor. He holds his place on a stage well. Not just a pretty boy. He turned out an exhausting, effective performance. But here's his problem: The show is a two-hander and he's sharing the stage with a newbie just out of acting school named Nina Arianda and she is a friggin' firecracker. She spends long swaths of the show in black leather and lace underthings seducing him and, I felt, me. It's hard to take your (my) eyes off of her. What I did see of Dancy was great. It's a play about control. Who has it. What are you willing to give it up for. It'll be interesting to see if any community theaters have the guts to put this on.



Anonymous looby said...

Isn't it remarkable, the level-headedness of children in times of stress?

October 17, 2011 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger nursemyra said...

So sorry you've been ill. I had to call an ambulance for my eldest son on Thursday. He had a serious 'flu that developed into pneumonia. Typical male, he allowed it to get worse before letting me get a doctor in. Don't you do the same!

October 17, 2011 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

Hope you'se are feeling beter soon pal. (I've had that delerium! Not nice!)

Last night I dreamt I was flying my (Helena's!) big yellow kite with the smiley face! Woke up to a gale!! :¬)

October 17, 2011 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

looby: It was such a strange and awful question. And I *did* feel like I was dying but I didn't tell her that.

nurse: I hate being reduced to a stereotype but I have to admit that I'm the same way. Ignore it and it'll go away on its own. It's actually worked in the past!

Map: When I was a teenager, I used to try and anesthetize myself into delirium using recreational drugs. Now, it's something I try to avoid.

October 17, 2011 at 7:16 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

although quite miserable, i sort of like a good bout of fever/delirium. it's like a narcotic for me, as i just simply couldn't care less whether i live or die...

what would i give up to gain control? "control of what?" that's how i'd have to sort the valuation

October 17, 2011 at 7:29 PM  
Anonymous looby said...

"what would I give up to gain control? "control of what?""

Fucking brilliant, Daisyfae. That's ringing around in my head, sparking off all sorts of things, both immediate feelings, and memories X

October 17, 2011 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

The play uses sexual escapades--particularly the I tie you up/you tie me up variety--as a metaphor for who gets to dominate who in a relationship. The outcome is pretty interesting.

October 17, 2011 at 8:42 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

the dom/sub dynamic can be complex, and it resonates well outside the bedroom... and i seriously doubt my local community theatre troup would consider this one. although they ARE doing "Evil Dead: The Musical" soon...

October 17, 2011 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

I'm sorry you were ill, but, clearly, getting a blog post up did the trick!

Don't think I could handle that play. (I failed knots in the Brownies!)

October 18, 2011 at 2:17 AM  
Blogger Scarlet Blue said...

Tossing in bed???
Well, you can't have been that ill.

P.S Pleased you're feeling better now!

October 18, 2011 at 4:49 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

daisy: Evil Dead is supposed to be great! Let me know how it goes.

dinah: The healing powers of blogging! Who knew!?

Scarlet: I was tossing in bed in the BAD way. Twisted in sweaty sheets (which can also be misconstrued, I suppose).

October 18, 2011 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger JZ said...

per nursemyra's those lungs....the flu attacks those little "hairs" in your air passages and the kill off allows in more pathogens...yielding pneumonia! happened to me! fer real!

sorry you got the flu at all....reminds me to go get the shot. thanks!

October 18, 2011 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger Sausage Fingers said...

Hope you are getting on the better shide of shite, try this next time it might not heal you faster but the devil will not bother you...
Sausage's old toddy:
2 cups single malt whisky
1 cup water
2 tablespoons of honey
squeeze of lemon
2 cups single malt whisky

October 18, 2011 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

JZ: I've always resisted a flu shot but maybe I'd better start getting one. Mrs. Wife is usually angry with me because she and the girls get one but I don't. What good is that?!

SF: Thank you so much for the authentic "old country" recipe. Is it okay if I try that even when I'm NOT sick? Sound perfect for a cold winter nightcap.

October 18, 2011 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Get the flu shot, you silly man! You've just had a minor taste of what Influenza A would be like, only you could be lots sicker. No need to try to be a real zombie, is there? But I am very glad you are feeling better now.

October 18, 2011 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Adam Kenny said...

Glad to read that you are feeling better. Being sick - while it happens mercifully on an infrequent basis - is not fun.

October 18, 2011 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Ponita: Thank you, dear. The debate as to whether or not I should get a flu shot is one I have with myself every year. I hear convincing arguments on both sides. But this past weekend might have tipped the scale in favor of a shot. I don't want to go through that again.

AK: Being sick occupied every single thought in my head. I had time for nothing else! I didn't even want to read or watch football.

October 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

You and me share the sickness constitution. I have been sick on a couple of occasions (in the past twenty years only two times) that sounded exactly as you described: coming on fast and heavy, delerium and worried loved ones. Hope you are better.

October 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger sukipoet said...

i had a dreadful delirium flu a number of years back contracted i am sure in the movie theater in which i watched Mastriano in some film with a midget. Oy.

i wonder if this play would be so "hot" with community theater actors?

hope you are feeling back to par now.

October 19, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger sukipoet said...

ps the flu shot debate. i am 66 and never had a shot and hope not to unless i become really aged and think my immune system is compromised in some way.

although of course people did die of the flu back in 1918 or whenever.

i am of the theory that my horrible flu when i thought i was dying acted like a flu shot (knock on wood) as that was quite a few years back and i havent had the flu since.

isnt a flu shot just a smidgen of flu virus in itself?? a homeopathic like cures like idea??

still, i would only advise myself not to get a shot. each person has to choose for themselves.

October 19, 2011 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Ellie: Thanks, I'm at about 90%. Good enough for work but can't go back to the gym yet. I feel like a big baby when I complain about being sick because it happens so infrequently.

suki: It sounds like the type of film that would attract a large crowd of sickly people. You definitely got it there.

October 19, 2011 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

suki ps: Yes! A flu shot contains the flu! Why the hell would you do that?! All you have to do is wash your hands frequently and refrain from touching your face during flu season and you'll never get it. For real!

October 19, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Poor love! Man flu' is so much worse than the normal one.
I had a flu' jab today - are you old enough? Probably not. Seriously though take care until you feel fighting fit again.

October 19, 2011 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

PS For Sausage's Toddy don't forget the hot poker.

October 19, 2011 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Pearl said...

Sorry to hear about your illness. I had a similar situation two years ago with the H1N1. When you're not accustomed to being sick, a real illness is absolutely flooring...


October 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM  

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