All aspects of being so sick that your eye teeth hurt aren’t necessarily bad. When the kind of sick I’ve got right now sledgehammers me, then I know I’ve got the dreams to look forward to. Those dreams, the ones I didn’t have to shell out dough on some overpriced hallucinogens to obtain.
I just have to lie here, mouthbreathing, and twitch and be too exhausted to even die, basically. Dying takes good energy, and this sort of flu is hoggy with all of the system’s resources.
Today I dreamed that I was inside a huge ancient coliseum, one with crumbling stone walls arcing into an inky night. Lynyrd Skynyrd was there, of course, and Ronnie Van Zandt called me out by name, heralding me as a sister of the South and lauding me for co-founding The Esteemed Society of Sister Neckbone. Ronnie wanted me to join him on stage and I shooed him with one weak hand, gesturing at the people and the stairs I would have to conquer to get there. I can’t, Vee Zee, I just can’t; go on without me.
It was then that I found myself buoyed up on a sea of hands, being shuffled easily but carefully to the lip of the stage, where I was gently poured into a pile of lank hair and flannel shirt and woolen socks, my flu-sweaty clothes having accompanied me from the scrambled-blankets landscape of my bed into my dreams. So much for the magical release of reality’s grip. So much for holding the world’s longest record of Good Hair In My Dreams. Forty-two years and some change was a good run, I reckon.
I lie there, an aching puddle of I Want To Die, horrified as the crowd began to chant “Free-BIRD, Free-BIRD,” striking their lighters and expecting in the way that concertgoing crowds tend to do. I started to cry.
“No. Noooooo,” I mumbled weakly, just inches away from the tips of Ronnie’s boots, “Don’t do that….”
I sneezed. I coughed. I sneezed again, twice. Then I parted my parched and cracking lips.
“Tuesday’s Gone,” I croaked. I didn’t have anything else in me. Nobody heard me.
I woke myself up singsniffling “…and I don’t know where I’m going, I just want to be left alone….” in a dry whisper.