We’ve been sick.
First, Carlos has a cold the week of Christmas. I don’t know if it was Holiday Stress-related, or the fact that one day we’re in the 70s in Smallville, and the next day it barely makes it out of the 40s. Either way he was sniffling and congested, and a complete pain in the ass. And by ‘pain in the ass’ I mean PAIN IN THE ASS, but I say it with love.
You see, Carlos and I have different ways to take care of ourselves when we’re sick, and neither one of us likes the other’s routine. His method for taking care of himself is to wear shorts….in December….when it’s 50 and windy; he likes to stay up late, playing Spiders on the computer. He thinks four or five hours of sleep is what’s needed when you’re sick. He thinks Hot Tea is a cure-all, although not decaf, never decaf. He says decaf tastes like cat piss; when he’s tasted cat piss, I don’t wanna know, but he says that, so…..I let it go. He doesn’t like any kind of NyQuil or Tylenol, although he is a fan of the Bick Boppa Rue, which is Carlos-speak for Vick’s Vapor Rub.
Lucy! You have some ‘splaining to do!
He won’t get any rest; he won’t go to sleep early; he won’t. So it took him about five days to get over a ‘twenty-four hour thing.’ Five days of coughing, sniffling, sneezing, congestion. I came close to putting him out of my misery.
Now, on the other hand, I am a fantastic patient. My method of taking care of myself is to sleep as much as I can. As many hours as I can. Days at a time is best. February works for me. I go to bed early; and I mean a hair after nine and I’m staggering to the bedroom; and I sleep late. He gets up, has breakfast and goes to work; I’m in a NyQuil-induced coma until about 10:30 AM.
Don’t get me started on NyQuil, which, for me, is a legal hallucinogenic. I have the most Dali-esque dreams on NyQuil. And literally I sleep like there’s no tomorrow, which, on NyQuil, could be a possibility. Usually, when I wake up after a NyQuil night, it takes a minute to register where I am, what time it is, what day…..what century. It’s a process.
So, the other night, after Carlos has finished his week-long cold and given it to me–Merry Christmas Baby–he goes to sleep. I soon follow. I head into the bathroom and pour myself a snifter of NyQuil, that green nectar of the gods, and I down it in a shot because it tastes horrible. Then I crawl into bed, under a sheet, an electric blanket that i like to think of as a toaster, a down comforter, and an afghan my Mom crocheted for me. I snuggle into the pillows and the cats gather round. They sleep on my side of the bed because of the aforementioned toaster and afghan. I’m warm and snuggly and so close to dozing when it happens.
Carlos begins to snore.
And this is not some little jigsaw snore. He does Variations on a Theme of Snoring. It’s like falling asleep inside a fully functioning factory; there are pistons and air hoses exploding; then conveyor belts of sound; followed by jackhammers, wheels and cogs spinning loudly. Lunch whistles; time clocks. I nudge him, gently at first…..at…..first…..Charlie, you’re snoring. I call him Charlie because it bugs him a little, and payback is a bitch. He harrumphs in his snore voice and says No. No? I nudge him a little less gently and say, sweetly, Seriously. You. Are. Snoring. Again, buzz-saw, No.
So, rather than look for a lamp to casually toss on his head, or a pillow I can lay over his face and weigh down with a couple of books, I grab my pillows, and my afghan and tumble down the hall, stopping at the linen closet for another blanket, to sleep on the couch. I could sleep in the guest bedroom, but it’s filled with dining room chairs and Christmas paper, and boxes…don’t ask.
I snuggle into the couch, afghan, blanket, pillows….MaxGoldberg sleeps on my feet, Tallulah nestles in behind my knees and Tuxedo sleep on my side. It’s like sleeping in a coffin; movement is not allowed.
So there I sleep, slipping into a coma, sniffling and coughing, juggling cats, until about 2 AM, when a dream about being a springboard diver diving in to a wooded canyon wakes me. I tumble back to my room.
The factory is closed.
The coma continues.
In the end, my ‘twenty-four hour’ thing lasts, well, twenty-four hours.