229. Misery Is Such A Lonely Word

It’s why it seeks company. Zing!

Day 1 of a new week at work. I drove out, and realized after a while that the haze was getting thicker and heavier the closer I got to the office. By the time I got off the car, the haze was pretty much like the fog in Genting Highlands on a rainy morning.

(yesterday night, after publishing the post on The New Weekends, I went to my bed and found it smelling of smoke)

I was alright for the first two hours or so. When it hit 11A.M., however, several things started happening to me. Notably: my eyes started watering. I started sneezing. My nose became blocked, and it generally feels like my head had been dunked in lime water.

My only wish right now, aside that the government declares a national day off from work on account of the haze, is that everyone gets as sick as I do so work will be cancelled anyway. For this office, at least.

I remember being miserable a couple of times before. The earliest memory of misery I have is me, circa 4 years old, sitting at the top of the stairs just positively bawling my eyes out. Why? Because my mom just left me to go to school, and refused to bring me along. Strangely enough, I don’t remember where dad was in the scheme of things. He was probably off on one of his business trips, those days in the mid-nineties.

(in between writing the paragraphs of this post, I completed my reading of Mr. King’s On Writing. Mr. King is also the author of a novel titled Misery… “Misery”, geddit?)

The last time I was truly, awfully miserable was probably last year, some time in early April.

I have gotten sick a couple of times since starting this blog as a writing exercise, and sometimes, I have blogged about my sickness. I’ve mentioned a little about my episode with tonsillitis before; and since we’re on the subject of misery, let me now give you the full picture:

My first run-in with the damned thing was in early 2013. Together with a couple of friends from design school, we were doing some video shootings for a friend, a musician. The shootings took place over 3 days immediately following the new year, and on the second day, the shooting took us to the sunny fields of Sekinchan, Seremban.

I’d say that the heat was sweltering, but that’s like saying liquid nitrogen is kinda cold. The sun scorched down on us, and we were trapped in an earth-sized oven. Looking back, I’m amazed none of us got heatstroke from the experience. A combination of the incredible heat, the stress of being on set with a tight deadline, and bad sleep over the past weeks came together like a spectacular pileup.

But that first time in January, I was smart. I knew I was sick, and I went to the doctor, who gave me antibiotics. Within the week, I was already better.

When 3 months later I encountered the same disease, the idiot ball was passed to my court, and I held on to it for much longer than I should have. Deciding that my body was strong enough to withstand whatever infections may come, I decided not to see the doctor. At the end of it, just before I gave in to see the medicine man, my throat was so swollen I couldn’t swallow, and it was getting hard to breathe.

(if I had to die of stupidity, at least let it be stupidity of epic proportions – I’m talking Darwin Awards material)

In those days, when even eating or swallowing saliva was torture, I knew misery.

Misery’s the kind of guy who’d like to hang around you, and you feel kind of sorry for him, so you let him hang around. It isn’t long until you realize that all he does is bring you down, but what are you going to do? Kick him out?

So you bring people along for the ride. At least the responsibility for misery would be shared out. But it doesn’t make you feel better. It never makes you feel any better.

It is now 2.45P.M., a good 3.5 hours since I’ve started on this post wishing sickness on my coworkers. My eyes have stopped watering, the rain had come during lunchtime and washed away the haze, and my nose is getting better.

Time to take back my words about everyone getting sick, and to show misery the door, I guess.


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