The men of my family have an endearing trait. Whenever we’re sick, even to an almost imperceptible degree we carry on like an antique hero in his death agony and expect our wives to baby us to an unhealthy degree. Now this week as it happened, Camera Girl is seriously under the weather. She’s been slowly recovering since Saturday. Today she’s at 60% and improving. But today I woke up with muscle aches, possibly a slight fever and a headache.
Ahhh, the perfect malady. Just bad enough to be recognizably sick but not bad enough to distract me from my act. So, all day today I’ve been an invalid caterwauling about my aches and pains and the bravery I was demonstrating. Like the great titan Prometheus, I was shackled to a crag in the Caucasus Mountains (or maybe my recliner in the living room). I could feel Camera Girl going through the slow burn. It’s a delicate balance. If I lay it on too thick, she’s liable to poison me or smother me in my sleep. But with just the right touch, the day is passed for both of us in a tolerable haze of delirium.
I spent the day watching YouTube videos about artificial elements in the island of stability and mockeries of string theory. With enough aspirin and turkey soup I almost felt human by dinner time.
But later my fever returned and I descended into madness. To go along with this mania, I put on a pretty bad prison movie from 1947 called “Brute Force.” Burt Lancaster is a prisoner who stages a jail break to save his wife from a cancer diagnosis. The pipsqueak, Hume Cronyn is completely absurd as the sadistic captain of the guards. But as ridiculous as the movie was it was perfect for my delirium.
When Camera Girl addressed me I started changing my “thems” to “dems” and “these” to “deese.” Pretty soon I told her that no “twist” was gonna tell me how to run a jail break. I reminded her that no prison could hold me for long and I added for good measure that no one would take me alive.
Eventually I passed out from a combination of malaise and bad acting. When I woke up a mortally wounded Lancaster tossed Cronyn from the guard tower to the mob below who tore him apart. Ahhh, those were the days. No transgender prisoners, no pronouns, just good old prison justice for stool pigeons and screws, see?
Now I’m wrapped up like a mummy trying to keep from getting the shakes. I think I’m done with bad movies for the day. I’ll put on some country music and try to sleep my way through the worst of this. Funny thing is Camera Girl now seems genuinely concerned with my health. There’s a word in Italian that means pity; peccato. Of course, in the dialect that Camera Girl’s people spoke back in the old country it was pronounced like “pea-cod.” Well, my pathetic weakness and whining have finally broken through and I’m garnering the attention and peccato I so richly deserve. I win again!
My hope is that I’ll be almost human tomorrow. But one never knows, do one?