Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How to Get Sick

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a guide to becoming "fully sick". If you follow these instructions in the expectation that people will describe you as "so sick" in a "you got like, ten feet of air bro!" way, you will be disappointed. Because you will also feel like shit.

Hate summer. Revel in the arrival of autumn, in a cloud of happiness that manifests itself in shorts and a t-shirt in slightly chilly weather. You're just happy not to be Fucking Miserably Sweaty, so you decide to be all like, "FUCK YOU" to jumpers and pants. Whatever. Haters gon' hate.

Get sick. Then find that a series of good friends' birthdays align with being paid, with finally having enough dosh to enjoy a weekend or three. Decide that this amazing stroke of good fortune isn't about to be dampened by a stupid cold and barely being able to breathe. Throw caution to the wind. Fuck it. Buy All the Shots for All the Friends. Have a string of stupidly fun and stupidly OTT nights out with your ridiculously amazing friends, while being sick. They're awesome. Find a slew of nonsensical pictures on your phone. Still manage to get plenty of work done. Feel victorious. Then you get better, despite the absurd Bane-beating-on-a-henchman assault you're giving your body and immune system. Think, "That wasn't so bad". Enjoy more birthdays, more celebrations. Make memories for the ages. Do this for a few weeks. Then wake up feeling all like:

Vow to quit that ridiculous behaviour, because you've got a Proper Job now and if there's one thing you've learned, it's that when you get Run Down, you get Really Sick. Besides that, no one wants to be the Shame Panda. Admit it, you decide to quit that ridiculous behaviour mostly because you don't want to be Shame Panda. 

Quit that ridiculous behaviour for about a week, enjoy being healthy again. Right in time for a music festival.

Spend the morning at work just about bursting with excitement. You're about to spend the weekend with friends crammed in a house in Apollo Bay, enjoying the music festival. Fuck yeah. There's a million other things you should be doing, but the prospect of good times and good vibes with good friends by the bay is too good to refuse.

Begin the drive. Feel tired. Nearly fall asleep at the wheel. That's disconcerting, but luckily that serves to wake you up. Down some energy drink and sing along loudly to Barry White to stay awake. Arrive. Get changed, rug up - it's going to be cold. Apollo Bay Music Festival is always fucking cold. Down a few beers, and some pizza. It's awesome to be with awesome pals, in an awesome and quaint little house. Unfortunately you're volunteering (you cheap-ass), so it's time to go to your shift as stage assistant.

You soon learn that "stage assistant" effectively means "bussy". And occasionally "fetcher of toilet paper" and even less occasionally "she who introduces bands to the stage manager". It's freezing back there and you soon find that T-SHIRT is inadequate winter wear. The thrill of wearing an "Access All Areas" lanyard quickly fades; from backstage you spy your friends dancing up a storm. Still, you take some rather rad photos from your vantage point and eventually remember to put on a jacket.

Eventually your exceedingly dull shift ends in the early hours of morning and you finally meet up with your pals. You're incredibly tired. Confoundingly so. After a while of dancing you all make the trek home and you get to your bunk. Suddenly realise there's no ladder to get up to the top bunk. Stand there like an idiot for a few minutes, staring at the mattress. It stares back at you, face-level. That ain't happening you think. Drag some blankets onto the cold floor and pass out.

Replace bed with floor.

Wake up after a few hours. Wake up with a chainsaw in your throat. You can't breathe. Your nose is runny. Fuck. Damn-near shake your fist at the heavens. Bacon makes things better, but only a little bit. Push the nagging feeling of "YOU'RE GETTING SICK" out of your mind. The day is spent hanging out, laying on the grass in the surprisingly warm late-April sun, and wandering around the market. Idyllic and superb. Go to your second shift. Your throat feels like a nun chuck wielding goblin has taken up residency and is having a conniption. Or a mosh. Fffffuuuuuu. Find your nose is running and you sneeze about ten times a row backstage. "Uhh. Bless you?" says a drummer. Say thank you from behind watering eyes and a snotty nose. Please men, form an orderly queue.

Reassure yourself that you've gone harder through worse. Remind yourself of the weekend just a few weeks ago. That was harder through worse, right? What was your pal Neil's saying? Oh yes: YOUR BODY WILL ALWAYS RECOVER. Have your doubts about that. Vaguely sense that maybe your body's had enough, and is ready to flip a table in rage. A table of pure, undiluted sickness. Of snot and fever and coughing. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Dance a little. Eat a lot. Laugh even more. Stand in the rain. That's good, right?

As you drive home, your nose begins to run non-stop. Use your tshirt to wipe it up. Spy yourself in the mirror. You look like shit. Pale, dark rings under your eyes, and wearing a snotty t-shirt. Your t-shirt is on backwards. You just used your tshirt to blow your damn nose. It's begun. Oh, god. Oh, GOD. NO. NO. NO NO NO NO NO.





The race against time begins. You're Sick. Congratulations.


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