Sorry about the lack of a post on Monday. I was down and out with a migraine that kept me confined to the couch most of the day, watching bad movies with the volume low, moaning occasionally so that Taylor would come in and pity me. The pain had more or less diminished by the evening when Taylor and I drove a few towns over to meet Laura, Kevin, and Breck for dinner. On the drive home, Taylor’s eyes started to take on a weird glassy sheen and his cheeks flushed a violent red.
“I don’t feel so good,” he said, coughing thickly.
When we got home, we immediately took his temperature and discovered it to be an unhealthy 101.5 degrees. Taylor sprawled on the couch, sweating, groaning, dying.
I sprang into action.
I have been trained in the subtle art of Taking Care Of Sickies by my mother, who coped with disasters like my colorful bout of food poisoning when I was six and my older sister’s month of mono. She has a special talent for calming sick kids, as mothers do, with a variety of placebos. These placebos are accepted by we kids as Potent Cures, and we in turn administer them to our own children until nobody even doubts that you cure a flu by watching The Neverending Story in your pajamas.
So when Taylor’s fever spiked, I went about my Mom-Procedures with confidence. It proceeds as follows:
3. Chicken-noodle soup (this I altered and got tomato soup as well, because Taylor absolutely adores that horrible Campbell’s concentrated tomato shit)
5. A shower
6. A cold compress
7. Napping in front of the TV
Taylor appreciated my efforts up through the Gatorade, but when I got to the shower, he looked at me like I was nuts.
“No,” he said. “I just want to sleep.”
“You’ll feel so much better after a shower!” I insisted. “Being sick is bad, but being sick and greasy and dirty is so much worse.”
“I don’t want to shower,” Taylor said flatly, toppling over on the couch. “I want to lay on the couch. And die.”
“Fine,” I said, and bustled in to the laundry. I began fishing through the dryer for an appropriately sized washcloth to soak with cold water. Taylor was quiet.
“What are you doing in there?” he finally asked. There was a suspicious undertone to his voice. To think, he doubted my nursing abilities.
“I’m getting a washcloth,” I told him.
“A cold compress.”
Taylor’s face appeared around the corner, his sweaty eyebrows knit in disapproval.
“That won’t help,” he said.
“What?” I found a small white cloth and took it into the kitchen to soak. “You’re crazy. Of course it’ll help. I’ll even wring it out really good so that it doesn’t drip all over your pillow.”
“It won’t help,” Taylor said again. I rolled my eyes. He got crazy ideas like this into his head sometimes. Just plainly refuting fact. Things like, he had turn his computer off when he wasn’t using it, or he didn’t like to leave margarine out of the fridge. It was sad, really. I was convinced that as soon as he felt the cool, soothing presence of a damp washcloth on his forehead that he would change his mind, and declare me the most brilliant girlfriend ever, which obviously, I am.
Instead, when I brought in the washcloth, folded neatly, not dripping a drop, he looked at me like I was demanding he glue a slug to his face.
“I don’t need that,” he said. “Can you get me some Sprite?”
“Sure. You should take the washcloth. You’ll feel better.”
“No, I won’t.”
“Yes, you will.”
I returned with the Sprite and glared at Taylor with what I hoped was a firm, tough-love expression. Taylor sighed.
“Fine,” he said. “Put it on.”
He lay down on the couch and I eagerly pressed the washcloth on his forehead. He was burning up, flushed, and starting to get the shivers. I could’ve sworn I heard a sizzle as I pressed the compress around his temples. I waited for a moment for his eyes to fly open with the revelation that this washcloth was the medicine he had been needing all along, that he felt suddenly and completely better.
His eyes stayed shut, and he didn’t say anything.
I retreated to the loveseat and put ‘The Karate Kid’ on Netflix for Taylor to fall asleep to while I nursed my fading migraine. After a twenty minutes or so, Taylor stirred, flopping his arms out of the blanket in a fit of discomfort.
“Does the compress feel better?” I asked. I had to know. Taylor opened one eye, and gave me as loving a look as he could muster under the fever spasms.
“Uh, I guess,” he said. And then: “Not really. But uh, it’s not bad.”
“Do you want me to get it wet again? It looks dry.”
“No, it’s okay,” he said, removing it and tossing it on the coffee table. I stared at it. A miracle cure, cast aside.
Taylor most have some sort of freak mutant biology, and there is nothing I can do about that.
What are the miracle cures that you refuses to denounce? What did your folks do for you when you got sick?