23 September 2007
The Bug -- Part 1
By the time I knew it was living inside of me, I was already hallucinating spears and disembodied fingers.
There I was standing in the upstairs bathroom of my in-law's house. I pulled off my thumb and stuck it where my ring finger should have been. No, I didn't. Did I?
The confusion brought on by the fever accompanied by the stress produced by my anxiety and hypochondria only made things worse. Twelve hours previous I had been driving up 695 when I saw a spear fly out the back window of a Jeep Cherokee. Ten hours since I had a freak-out in a parking lot in Towson. I was now standing in a bathroom bleeding, feeling like I was going to die.
And it all began with an egg roll.
Days earlier, Baltimore had caught the brunt of a hurricane that had come right up the Chesapeake. Fell's Point flooded to the roofs of cars and boats throughout the east-side marinas were dumped onto land and onto one another. Power in some parts was out for days. One of my students said his family had lost twenty-one trees on their wooded lot.
We got off fairly well. Maybe some torn siding was the worst any of the local family had suffered. MJ and I were actually preparing to settle on our house at the time and had been nervous. The house is relatively ancient by American standards (built in 1840), and the roof at time of purchase was in terrible shape. We were relieved that the storm hadn't seemed to inflict any serious damage.
And so, on the evening before we were to settle, I decided to surprise everyone by bringing home Chinese carry-out.
This turned out to have been one of the worst mistakes I've ever made.
(...to be continued...)