Fever Dreams


My temperature hit 39 degrees as I shivered under blankets on the sofa. I slept, succumbing to strange dreams: a bicycle shop in West London, selling only exotic fruit, where they gave me a mutated avocado that tasted like dirt; a blind date in Penge where we went to a wine bar filled with salt-of-the-earth gangsters, and my date referred repeatedly to her mother and overall, and told me the one thing I shouldn’t have said was [mumble mumble mumble]. I woke at eight in the morning, woke again at midday, now on the bed, my daughter happily smacking me in the face, my fever broken, my temperature a balmy 37.

Discombobulated, number and becalmed by sleep, sluggish from not eating or any coffee, I shambled around the apartment. Somebody visited for lunch, like a ghost flitting across my consciousness. My daughter went out for a walk, came back, I read some of Cogan’s Trade, fell asleep again. I wondered if I would ever be able to think clearly again.

Later, I was at least capable of bathing La Serpiente Aquatica Negra. She was tired after a long day of running around, apparently, a day where she had to sacrifice her room to her sleeping father. We got her to bed easily, then, both of us broken husks of humanity, sat in front of the television and watched Frozen. Possibly some irony about watching a cartoon set in a frozen waste, while in the tropics, feeling cold.

Then to bed. Tomorrow, I hope, back to normal operating parameters. As I shambked around the kitchen tonight, I rejoiced that at least I wasn’t in prison, where I expect tolerance for, and treatment of, fevers is much harsher. Does that imply I set my expectations too low?


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