Sickness & Health

I’m not getting married. Let’s just get that out of the way right now.

I had the stomach flu for the first time in a long time. Like, fever and everything. It was a pretty wild 48 hours. My stomach was being kind of weird on Friday but I thought it was just a bug, so I went and got drinks with friends. Ended up staying up way too late, drinking too much, eating too many nachos, etc. I remember being chilly when I went to bed, and then when my alarm woke me up at 6am the next day (or, really, the same day), I felt like a furnace and my heart beat was steady and high.

Fun TMI fact: I had a dream before waking up that I had to take a shit and was in some kind of cabin or cabin-esque house, with people, including a woman who I knew was my sister but I don’t have a sister in real life. Anyway, the door to the bathroom was basically a ramshackle tavern-style door which didn’t close but I couldn’t hold it so I went in and did my business, and then my sister came in and berated me for making a horrible, smell that everyone could smell in the entire house.

Then I woke up and realized that my brain was trying to tell me that I had to take a very terrible, no good shit. But I did that and felt okay enough to go buy groceries. Went home, unloaded everything, was like, “Man I feel kind of sleepy,” then proceeded to lie down and take a three hour nap. Woke up feeling furnace-y again, so I finally took my temperature. 100.9°F, plus the body aches that tend to accompany a fever. I promptly took a covid test, my last box with two tests left. Tested negative. Didn’t re-test because none of my symptoms were respiratory; now that I’ve had covid, I know what to expect.

So I took it easy. I think my body’s overall recovery level was lower than I realized due to lots of running. Apparently you can get sick after running because of cortisol levels or something like that. I think I would’ve been fine, though, if I hadn’t gone out with friends. Oh well.

I feel alright finally and went for a run this morning. Attempted Garmin’s suggested workout, which was it basically delaying my Sunday long run of 1:09:00 to today. Made it 30 minutes before my gut was like, “Hey bro! Remember how you had the flu?!”

But I feel better. Then I watched this reel that Brian Jordan Alvarez made:

For context: I took dance classes the last year and a half of undergrad. I was a Theatre Arts major and didn’t feel very “in tune” with my body; where it was in space, how it interacted on stage and with other actors. Stuff like that. So I took dance classes: ballet, jazz, modern, and a repertory dance class where we choreography stuff. During that time, movement and dance were just aspects of life. You’d go to class and do some form of movement. And it would sit with you, in your body.

Brian’s video just sort of hit me because it is so full of joy and expression and that’s not somewhere I’ve been in a long time. And I miss it. I miss just fucking dancing, you know? Not “Going to a dance class.” Hearing a good song on your playlist and going for it. I haven’t felt like that in probably 20 years. I feel like Peter before he becomes Peter Pan in Hook. I used to go out dancing occasionally once I moved to Portland, and of course the “white guy indie band head bob” I’d do at concerts doesn’t count.

It feels like as you get older, individual expression just gets beat out of you. This world has no need for it. Capitalism needs you to make car doors and sell needless things. I miss the exploration of college theatre and art classes. Nobody really tells you how quickly that goes away once you’ve left. I got it again for a bit in grad school but it wasn’t exactly the same as being in my 20s and experiencing all of these new and exciting things for the first time. I’ll never experience them for the first time, unless I lose my memory somehow, and I really hope that doesn’t happen.

This is the “health” portion of the title. The health of self-expression, of finding joy in the world. Dancing in the kitchen, laughing loudly and openly. Sneezing loudly! Stop holding your sneezes in, people. Looking up when you’re outside. Finding compassion in people and for people. Stuff you lose track of over time because life is hard and things are tough.

I’m gonna try to find it again.