October 28, 2011

The Patient Struggle

I'm sick in bed, not for the first time, alone in LA.

It's been nearly five months since I got food poisoning from Playa Rivera, serving me right for compulsively taking myself out for dinner and drinks.

It's been nearly three months since I gave myself concussion, an ailment from which I am still recovering and still suffering dizzy spells and persistent headaches.

And now I've got my annual fall headcold, which masqueraded as allergies for probably weeks, then worsened into a nuisance, and now has manifested in a total incapacitating illness, rendering me bedridden and barely able to maintain consciousness.

Earlier this week, my coworker (the same one who discovered me slumped over in my office and called an ambulance) walked into my office and said, "What's wrong?" When I asked "Why?" she said I looked like I didn't feel good, like I was sick. I was insulted, wearing new glasses and looking for compliments rather than concern. But I was feeling run-down. She must've known me better than I know myself.

So now that I am certifiably sick, where can I seek solace, and from whom?

The family I haven't spoken to in nearly five years?
The friends I left back in New York?
The boyfriend I never quite had, who is now someone else's boyfriend?
The lover who constantly insists on the casual nature of our relationship, yet whose capacity for intimacy and tenderness far surpasses all others?
The guy friends who want to date me?
The guys who don't want to date me?
The bartenders who flirt with me?
The husbands who fantasize about me?
The boss who can't stop worrying about me?

I know I probably have to ask for help, otherwise help will not come. I know I can get better on my own, and I have everything I need here. I don't need a doctor, I don't need the hospital, I don't need antibiotics. I have enough medicine, I have enough tissues, I have enough food.

But sometimes I need someone to stroke my hair and tell me everything's going to be all right.

The hardest part is, I felt exactly the same way when I was sick in New York. It's not LA. It's me.

Related Reading:
Plight of the Independent Woman

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