Friday, January 21, 2011

my turn

Hyperbole and a Half has a new blog post up which is enough to totally make my week most of the time.  If you aren't reading her you're making a huge error in Internet judgement.

My favorite post is this one for the very selfish reason that it totally happened to me (sort of kind of not at all)...

During my junior and senior years of college I was living in Prospect Heights in Brooklyn.  It was a lovely little neighborhood that bordered on one of the swankiest BK neighborhoods and one of the most dangerous.  I would get off at my train stop and I could see a White Castle just a few blocks down Atlantic Avenue but I never went there (despite my deep and insatiable love for small food) because it was, in general, a poor choice to go to places that, "Jay-Z talks about in his early work."

Anyway- my neighborhood felt safe enough but I heard plenty of stories of robberies and other stuff you don't tell your parents about so that I always was very aware of my surroundings (you don't not spring from the womb in the District of Columbia without some solid street smarts).

SO - at some point in that time I contracted a very serious case of the flu.  Having been a fairly healthy kid, I am not very well versed in how to be sick without being totally pathetic and ridiculous.  I was feverish and miserable and stayed in bed moaning.

At one point, around 10 or 11 PM I decided I was feeling better and decided I needed some ginger ale and orange juice immediately.  There was a 24-hour diner catty-corner to my building that delivered, so I called them.

"Hi, can I get a bottle of orange juice and a bottle of ginger ale."
"We don't have bottles, only cups."
"I can't get a bottle?"
"How much would a cup cost?"
"It would be $6 total."
"For a cup of ginger ale and a cup of orange juice?"
"That is ridiculous."

Even with a 102 degree fever I am a bargain shopper.

After I hung up I put on my coat.  Down the block in the other direction there was a bodega that was also 24 hours and I knew would be able to make me a better deal for more of the liquids I so desperately craved.  I had been wearing the same clothes for about two days but made no effort to do anything except put on outerwear and find some money.

I made it down the block and into the bodega just fine, but something, I don't know if it was the smell of the slightly rotten deli meat or the hundreds of virgin mary candles but I knew something was not going right.  I found my juice and ginger ale and tossed some dollar bills on the counter.  At this point I could not hold myself upright without leaning on the counter but I took my purchases (because we all know that the best thing to do when you can't handle your own body weight is add a quart of OJ and a 2 liter of Canada Dry) and walked out.

This is where things get hazy.  I know I made it across the street before I faceplanted.

As a kid I was always epically jealous of girls who fainted.  It was the way to get attention.  I used to wish that I could do it just once so that when I faked it it would at least look realistic (I was very method in my pretty, pretty princessness).

I don't quite know what happened when I really did faint - I do hope that there was an instant where I was having my teen-queen-movie-first-kiss moment where it was like, "This is it!" but I spent most of the way to the ground unconsious so there is no way to know.

Once I hit the asphalt I regained as much consiousness as can be expected pretty quickly.  At this moment, this could have taken a very SVU turn.  A smelly-ass 20-year old, with no identification on her, is passed out on the street corner at like 11:30 at night, and when I first opened my eyes I was totally disoriented (probably because I was lying on the ground) and so I kept saying, "this is not where I am supposed to be."

Luckily, the first person to come upon me muttering to myself wished me no harm.  Once he realized that I was still talking about not being in the right place he probably wished himself away from this sketchtastic scene.  But he very nicely asked me if he should call an ambulance.

"No, I'm fine."

Like I said- not super good at being sick.

I managed to stand up, fall back down and then stand up again while still insisting that I was totally fine and that I just needed to go one block and I would be home.

He was super wary about all this so, naturally, I negotiated, "listen, you can watch me walk to my apartment and then if I fall down again, you can call an ambulance."

He seemed fine with these terms so I stumbled home as fast as I could with the thought that the faster I walked the less likely I would be to pass out.  This logic managed to work as I made it in and up two flights of stairs, through my unlocked door and into bed before passing out again.

But Rachel, what about the orange juice and ginger ale?!

Don't worry.  They made it all the way through this journey unscathed some how and were incredibly restorative, making this entire adventure totally worth it.

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She's pint-sized and amazing.