I’m a relatively healthy person.
Every now and then I drop into a hole in the space/time continuum and enter a parallel universe where I am accident prone. It only seems to last a few weeks, but during that time I become a walking disaster. Blame it on SAD, but it usually occurs in January. I should have taken the cue when I burned my hand on the broiler, but, no, I thought that was “just an accident.” HAH!
So here I am last weekend, perusing the pile of rubble that some say will one day be where I live, minding my own business, deluding myself into believing that I am still occupying my usual dimension, when I walked out of what is supposed to be the garage door straight into the bottom leg of a garage truss.
Here. In THE TWILIGHT ZONE. (creepy music)
The key to living in the Twilight Zone is to try to maintain a veil of normalcy, but be on your guard. Still, when I went to bed that night, having concluded I didn’t have a concussion because instead I had an egg-sized lump and a black eye (and assuming standard human physiology transcends dimension), I figured I could close my eye for at least a night’s rest (the other one already being closed, as it were). This I did, and reached up to pet my sweet-tempered cat, Whiskers.
A hideous wheeze and a guttural choking sound let me know this is not Whiskers! This is Whisker’s evil twin about to spew kitty entrails all over the bed! I pull back to push the beast onto the floor, but it grabs me, digging its claw into my hand. Blood spurts all over the sheets as the feline from hell just hangs on my hand by its claw!
Crying out, I shake her off, grab my hand and yell for Dirtman to get a paper towel. But this is not Dirtman here. In THE TWILIGHT ZONE (creepy music). This is a lump of snoring flesh that is totally deaf.
I scream again while applying pressure to the wound with my good hand.
“Mblmmbrrrg,” comes from the lump.
IT DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH!
Finally, it responds to kicking and screaming. It morphs briefly back into Dirtman, long enough to get me my wet paper towel, then returns to its lumpy, snoreful self.
Having staunched the geyser spewing from my hand, I observe that half of it is swollen to twice its size.
Though I had already taken a few ibuprofen, I downed another and prayed that by morning I would be able to touch my forefinger to my thumb, that being the distinction between humans and animals, at least on my planet.
I honestly thought by next morning I’d wake up in my own world, battle scarred, but safe. And the day had all the qualities of business-as-usual. But that’s how it works, isn’t it? Here. IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE!
Now it’s no secret to those who know me that I have asthma. I take my meds daily and that is usually sufficient. Occasionally I will have to use my back-up inhaler, but one dose – blip – and I’m good to go.
So here I am, making dinner, feeling a little breathless. Stop. Think. Is this really an attack or is my body just trying to get out of something by falling into an asthma attack? No…this is the real thing. Get the inhaler – blip – 60 seconds – blip again – 60 seconds. That should do it.
I’ll just carry on…WHEEZE... ignore it, it’s just my asthma trying to get attention and if it wins it will take over my life so I AM NOT HAVING AN ASTHMA ATTACK!
See? Usually this works. Usually I close my eyes, force myself to relax, remind myself there is nothing around me I’m allergic to, tell my body there is nothing to complain about and stop being psychotic…WHEEZE…try to get through dinner…WHEEZE, WHEEZE, WHEEZE…
Dirtman, meanwhile, has morphed into: The Italian Mama.
“We’ve got to go to the hospital,” he says, chasing me around the house as I run around trying to find a “safe” room. But he’s been talking to Tony, our steadfast, loyal, noble, talented (and only) building contractor. I don’t care if Alien was punching out of my stomach, he was not ending a conversation with Tony.
“Leaving,” I gasp, run past Rod Serling and run to the car. Zsa Zsa is Zsa Zsa in any dimension and if someone is getting in the car, by God, she’s going too. So I turn on the air conditioner full blast and open all the windows. Zsa Zsa is in heaven. It takes me a half hour of driving around like this before I’m not breathing with a rasp.
And here I’ve been for the past three days, spending a few hours in the house, a few hours driving around with Zsa Zsa. Oh, we’ve turned on the air conditioner in the house, which allows me the few hours and to doze on and off throughout the night.
I miss Dirtman, though. I still have that Italian Mama following me around telling me to go to the doctor. I merely show her my black eye and my burned, punctured, swollen, mangled hand and ask her what she would think if a woman approached her looking like I do. I glimpse a shadow of Dirtman return a look of fear.
I’m hoping to return home to my own dimension soon. I really miss sleeping. And breathing.
Editor's Note: The staff here at Linguini on the Ceiling is aware that overuse of the exclamation point is indicative of weak writing. Submit for your perusal: One Sister Ignatius Toyota of Our Lady of Perpetural Motion, Sisiggy to her friends, former newspaper reporter and editor, who can't seem to keep her pinkie finger from lurching toward the upper lefthand corner of her keyboard. She thinks she has entered the Land of Excessive Extreme Punctuation. But you and I just call it
(DOO doo DOO doo, DOO doo DOO doo)