Sick day

24 October 2012

I get up early to take The Hippo to the airport. She has a work trip to Las Vegas. I make coffee to counter the fuzziness I feel from the nighttime cold medicine. We walk to the car and the curse of her father finds us: the car will not start. We partake in the electro-magical ritual to revive the vehicle (and bypass the malfunctioning security feature). We finish the ritual and try again. Nothing, like a stubborn Lazarus with the burial shroud stuffed too deep in his ears, unable to hear the command to live again.

Her coworker drives to our apartment and picks up The Hippo to head to the airport.

I wave goodbye. I am wearing a hat, oversize sweater, dress pants and dress shoes. I am drinking coffee from a travel mug. I hold the Japanese import version of Bury The Hatchet by The Cranberries. I take the elevator upstairs and return to the apartment.

I listen to American Football’s self-titled album. I think of my friend, Josh, who always has some unbelievably cool album playing in his car.

I call in sick for work today. (I actually text in, if we’re getting specific.) As a child, I looked forward to sick days, chances to trick the thermometer and watch cartoons all day instead of learning about triangles and Ramona and how to spell onomatopoeia. (Interestingly enough, not spelled like it sounds.) As an adult, calling in sick twists my insides into  a bundle of guilt. So much to be done. Do I have sick day hours accrued? Will I get paid to stay home and take care of myself? What should be a welcome reprieve from responsibility and a chance to conquer my illness becomes a day of worry and regret.

I am convinced Ferris Bueller feels the same way when he tries to take a day off from his cubicle-based office job at this later point in his life.