Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away

For reasons I don't fully understand, I can never sleep when it's raining. If I don't know it's raining and I can't hear it raining, then I can sometimes sleep, but usually I'm restless and uneasy. It's strange, because growing up in Oregon, it rained more often than not. There, however, the rain is gentle and soft, quiet and misty. When I moved east with my family, I was exposed to violent thunderstorms, nor'easters and hurricanes. But it's not just rain that creeps me out. When I was living in the dorms during college, the downside of having my own private room was the fact that water from the bathroom on the floor above would leak through my ceiling every now and then. It made me very uneasy to never know when a pipe was going to malfunction and water start coming down. When I graduated and found a job at a nice art gallery, it was a common practice to walk around the store after a rainstorm and make sure buckets were catching the puddles caused by the fashionable but leaky roof. My apartment had a strange leak in the kitchen ceiling, where water would emerge a day or two after a heavy rain, after traveling through some sort of secret passageway in the old roof. When I moved to New York, my first home was a house where my bedroom ceiling caved in, caused, I'm sure, by water damage from the washing machine on the floor above. After I fled that place, my next apartment was brand newly renovated, but it was on the top floor, and the first heavy rain caused the living room ceiling to swell up with water from a leak in the roof. Now I live in an old house with a foundation eroded and probably shifted by rain, with a yard that requires causeways and channels to divert the water so that the soil doesn't all travel away. So, you see, water and I are not good friends.

My husband continues to assure me that our house has a new roof, which he personally and painstakingly helped install a few years ago. Often, in our bedroom here, I can hardly hear the rain at night, the house's walls are so thick. Still, there is a strange pinging sound that I hear every now and then when it rains and the droplets hit the metal chimney of the water heater that extends from the wall of our kitchen. This chimney was built by idiots, my husband says, and just the other day he was pointing out to me that if the wind and rain hit the chimney just right, the water runs down the pipe into the side of the house instead flowing away and dripping onto the ground. I guess the conditions were right last night, because it rained pretty hard and, though I slept all right, I woke up early and went into the kitchen to get breakfast and stepped into a puddle of water. C was awake but not at all happy to have me pull him out of bed to inspect a puddle. He's been muttering about idiots and cursing under his breath ever since. And it's a darkish damp Saturday, so I think the best thing to do is retire to my sewing nook, turn on the radio, and do some work. But first, a shower.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Musings of a Sick Mind

I've been bedridden for days, in the grips of delirium, wondering if I will survive the long ordeal or succumb to the dreaded cold. Actually, I've only had a cold for a few days, but when I get sick I just sleep and sleep and sleep. I slept on Wednesday, then I went to work on Thursday because I felt like nobody was getting anything done without me. Then I came home and slept, and today I have barely left my bed. It's so warm in here and so cold and gray outside and I have everything I need all around me: tissues, books, i-pod, salt and vinegar potato chips, chocolate chip cookies... why should I get up? Unless there is a bright warm sunbeam somewhere to lay in, I am not getting up!

My husband, who would like for me to refer to him as "Biff" on my blog from now on, in order to further protect his identity (but I have not decided if I will or not. I'll probably forget) has been taking good care of me, bringing me food and telling me stories, and actually I thought I was delirious and hallucinating because when I came home from work the other day, he was cleaning! I mean, he was organizing! We have more floorspace in our bedroom now, and the bathroom closet is completely reorganized. He was actually throwing things away! Like old medicines and stuff. It was fantastic!

While I've been laying here in bed, I read a book about this Spanish conquistador named Orellana, who was the first Westerner to traverse the Amazon River. It is an amazing book, and I recommend it to anyone who loves adventure stories. It's nice to read stories like that when you are sick because it makes your own troubles seem not as bad. When I read about starving men devouring raw manioc and then dying of the poison while being attacked by cannibals, it puts things in perspective. And it makes me realize that humans are strong enough to endure so much more than what I complain about from day to day.

I've also been listening to radio podcasts of my favorite programs, including Bob & Sheri, a duo based in Charlotte NC, who I've listened to for years and years. They make me laugh out loud most days, and recently they had people calling in to tell true stories of weddings that turned wild. Some lady called in and said that when police came to arrest a drunk-driving guest and tow his car from the wedding she was attending, the other guests tried to tip over the tow-truck, and laid down in front of the police car wheels to prevent the guy from being taken away! Then some other guy called and talked about his own crazy wedding and how his wife is a taxidermist and is planning to stuff him when he dies and prop him up in the corner. If I don't die of this cold, I will probably die laughing because of these people. But if laughter really is the best medicine, maybe I'll get well soon?

I'm just delirious and making no sense. Maybe I will do my taxes now. I figure I might as well do tedious stuff now, while I'm sick, so as to better enjoy my time when I am well.