I'm way, way behind on what I hoped to accomplish this week. Not in terms of efforts at my day job (mainly the endless stream of meetings I attend), but my production on the writing front has struggled. I was barely able to produce a single new story this week, putting me behind my one-per-week goal.
A big reason for that is that I've been sick for two friggin' weeks. Whatever disease I've got is ungodly. It's like the flu combined with stealth technology and other advanced infectious features. One of these is something I've never encountered before. I've taken to calling it 'Surprise Diarrhea.'
Look, I know no one really wants an in-depth discussion of bowel function, and while you think you know all you need to know about the squirts, you don't know the first thing about Surprise Diarrhea.
In the regular version of this particular ailment, one temporarily transforms into a poo-spewing fountain, right? It's not fun, but here's the thing: At least you know you're sick. You're ready for it - you're taking the drugs, staying close to the bathroom, cleching your buttcheeks and not trusting farts. Best of all, when it's over you know you can go back to your regular life.
Now imagine not knowing any of that; you're just walking around, unprepared for the fact that your innards could be under siege at any moment. After it strikes, things go back to normal... until the next time. The disease strikes and disappears and strikes and disappears, like an unstoppable guerilla force living somewhere far beyond where the expired Z-Pack you're taking can get at it.
This has been my life for the past two weeks.
The first time it happened, I was sitting at my desk. No big deal, although I barely made it to the bathroom. Four days later, with nothing out of the ordinary to report since the first incident, I was stricken again, this time in the middle of a run. This was quite different from other instances where I voluntarily decided to use the bathroom on the lakefront path. I was reduced to a cheek-searing waddle within five seconds of symptom onset. Worse, it was 9 AM and I was on the Oak Street beach curve (for non-locals, this means I was in a very public place and about as far from a bathroom as you can be in the entire city). It took every scrap of my ingenuity (and some conventiently washed-up seaweed) for me to get out of that particular jam.
That was last weekend. So far, I'm OK, but I'm still worried.
While thinking about how "Surprise" + [any disease] = Much worse [disease], I've come to the realization that I don't like surprises anymore. As a kid, everything unexpected is great - it's all surprise parties and new puppies. Then, at some point, they all start becoming shitty. You need braces. Your mom and I are getting divorced. We can't give you an annual raise. Finally, you get one last surprise (It's a more aggressive form of cancer than we imagined/daddy are you having a stroke on the toilet?) and you die.
These little sprinkles of chaos are anathema to what I stand for. I've spent my entire life building a bland, vaguely successful existence built entirely around achieving tiny wins while avoiding setbacks. I'm healthy, I still have about 70% of the hair I was born with, and I've got a good thing going with the writing lately. You think I want a surprise that could change all that??? I don't even like presents - last Christmas someone gave me a Yo-Yo and I had to play it as though it was something I would incorporate into my life (side note: I brought the toy to work and set it out for a co-worker to give to their kid. No one took it... until I put a placard next to it that read, 'Cursed Yo-Yo. Take if you dare.' 15 minutes later it was gone).
As I see it, there are only two ways to proceed: The first is to change my life so that surprises are good again. This involves either a time machine and a return to my youth (a temporary fix at best; see above). Alternatively, I could fuck up my life so badly that I have nowhere to go but up (if you eat out of a dumpster, just about any twist of fate is good, I'd reckon). Anyway, since that's not gonna happen either - knock on wood - I'm left with only one option: As of right now, I'm afraid to say that I'm going off surprises for the forseeable future. If it's an emergency, please contact Susan so she can gradually phase the news to me in a way that would mitigate any shock.
Thanks for your understanding. Now I have to be getting back to my cocoon of numbness.
Noah's Inner Monologue
Scribblings of a man who can barely operate an idiotproof website.