Friday, October 29, 2010

The Flu

I had the flu for about three days. It was a low level type flu, and I think it was mild because I had my flu shot last November. In the past, I would get the flu and it would be so bad that I often ended up in the hospital. Since getting the yearly flu shots, the flu that I do get is very mild. The bad reactions from the flu has been bad all of my life. One time I had the flu so bad that I lost 30 lbs and could not even lift my head off the pillow. I really thought I was going to die. I had so little money but bribed someone to go to the store for me because my body knew what I needed. I could no longer throw anything up. I even went past the bile stage. I had a craving for grape juice and as soon as I got it, I started to mend.

This time, I just stayed in bed and read and wrote in my journal. I got up every so often and watched old movies on the Internet. I did not want to eat or drink anything and finally on the third day I felt great.

Sometimes, when someone is ill, things change. It is like taking a trip. You take a trip to the seashore or the mountains and something changes in your life that doesn't become clear until you get back. Sometimes, you can't even describe what it is that changed. That happened during my three days of the flu. I wasn't all that sick, but something changed. I wasn't even worried about getting to a doctor. I knew I was alright.

Maybe it was all of the writing I did or the old movies that were released in the 1930's that I watched or the fact that I finally fixed my Sony Reader and read some great stories but I seemed to be clearer about what I wanted to do in my life. When a friend called and invited me out to dinner during the middle of it, I declined. I just wasn't hungry and I told her that I may be contagious. It was more than that. I was processing something.

Even now, those changes have stayed with me. I have become more me. I never got depressed during those few days. I just enjoyed being who I was and realized a lot of things that I did not realize before. I don't even want to go to Home Plus as much as I used to. I just want to stay here and get ready to leave and I don't mean packing my bags. I mean preparing my mind and making up what it is that I want to do with the remaining years that I have left.

When you watch the old movies and old television shows, one has the advantage of viewing the lives of the people you are watching on film after they made that movie. For the most part, many are no longer with us. They have lived their entire lives and ended them after that brief period on film. It was like watching a current actor's grandmother in her prime and seeing the uncanny resemblance they both have to each other. Of course, those who make movies have those records while most of us don't. Their lives are in Wikipedia while most of us live the lives of quiet desperation and for the most part unrecorded. It is seeing how each of us live differently and how some of us were unhappy and some of us were never sober enough to know whether we were happy or not although drinking usually means we are unhappy. It gives you perspective we usually don't have.

I have relatives in history books but I never knew them and have no idea what they were like. I knew of a study at some big university years ago who chose some people at random and each of them had relatives who were in the history books. None of them knew those relatives either. I learned more about William Powell and Myrna Loy from the Thin Man series than I knew about relatives. By the way, they led very interesting lives after the filming of those movies.

I never seen a picture of my relatives other than a glimpse of my grandparents when I was a child. My children and grandchildren will never see those pictures for they are gone forever. I wish I could have seen them, but I did see other people who lived in the early 20th century and how their lives went.

So, I guess I should tie this all up. All of us human beings are descended from a small group of people in west Africa according to the science of genetics. No one knows who all of our relatives are and where we all are going. In those three days I was sick I spent some time thinking about where I was going and looking at where the people I was watching in those old black and white movies went and even where they are now buried. I think that sobered me up and made me think about the important things in life. I think I discovered the most important things were not the things I thought they were and that I don't know what is important except it probably is the people we love. I know that the things I was mad and angry about are not important at all.

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