How Sick Can You Get?

I’ve been living on a diet of Vitamin C, Ibuprofen, some apples, a Magnum Almond, some oranges from the care package Andra brought over when I told him how sick G. and I have been. Two men with flu in the same house is not a fun thing. I used to be a happy drunk; I am not a happy sick person. I am not a pleasure to be around. But things are looking up: I went to the chiropractor/accupuncturist today who sorted out my back, which becomes like an s-bend when I’m in bed too long and don’t get enough exercise (eventhough G. claims that men are meant to lie on their backs with their legs in the air for long periods of time), and I’ve gone for a brief walk and I even had a look at Whitechapel Boys for the first time since I got back from Spain around Hanukah time. One thing I did think about when I was more flu-ey than I am today, is what it was like for people like Gertler, who had TB for so many years – what it must have been like to feel feverish and shakey and to not be able to function on the level your mind wants to. There’s not a lot creative in being ill – I think it’s what comes after those days or months of sick-time (there must be a better word for that stretch of time) – because already I can feel a renewed energy in me, the kind of mania that filled Gertler when he started to paint again.

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