Several years ago, I lived in a 450 square foot apartment, in East Brainerd, TN. (Which seemed small until my 280 square foot carriage house in Savannah, GA.) It had two rooms, three if you count the bathroom. The kitchen wasn't a galley so much as a row of cabinets, sink, stove and fridge all along one wall that opened into the living room. Which also served as the dining room, and guest room. I must say that I've always been great at making the best of a space... The other room was the bedroom, which was quite large, with a walk-in-closet and access to the bathroom. The shower/tub had one of those sliding doors with the frosted glass that always made me feel dirty.
At the time, I worked in a retail store, and was going through training to become a massage therapist. I worked full time, went to school full time, and partied full time. Looking back, I'm amazed at the stamina I had compared to now. Youth truly is wasted on the young.
There must have been a break in classes that coincided with some time off from work, because it took about 36 hours before anyone started looking for me. I happen to be one of those people that if certain folks don't hear from me, almost daily, they tend to send out the hounds. As it would turn out, luckily so, I'm also one of those people that gives out keys to my apartment freely to friends that may or may not ever need them. (I lived alone then, still do, and I'm in constant fear of my body not being found and my cat eating my face. In my mind, my daily annoyances and people having keys lessens my chances of total decomposition. I'd like to leave a pretty corpse...)
While my friends, unbeknownst to me, were trying to figure out the last person to hear from me, I was trapped in my apartment with walking pneumonia. A terribly wretched condition, that will sometimes cause you to crack your own ribs from coughing. It comes with a fever, and by this time mine was at an exhausting 105. (107 is apparently the point at which brain damage sets in, just in case you ever wanted to know) With my friends being none the wiser, I was laying in my bathtub, dirty frosted glass protecting me, having some fairly intense hallucinations.
I was convinced that my mother was in my apartment, trying to soothe me and make me well. (At least that's what hallucinated mommy told me.) However, I knew my mother had been dead for a VERY long time, and I was convinced she was trying to kill me and take me to "the other side". (It's a genuine concern given her history.) So I locked myself in the bathroom, closed the shower doors, and was yelling for my cat, Banana Pants, to bring my cell phone so that we could call for help.
And that's where I was found. Crying, in the tub about how worthless my cat is sans basic understanding of the human language and that my mother would finally win my soul. My friends had sent a police officer. (He was also a friend, had a key to my apartment, and they thought would be the best person to call if I were in fact missing...)
I remember him laughing at me, and condescendingly calling me "baby", while dragging me out of the bathroom. He stayed for another 24 hours, by my side. (Because he is a good man, and I most likely threatened his life...)
The officer ended up sick about a week later, but I didn't offer to take care of him. I'm not an idiot, I didn't want that coming back home with me! I sent another friend instead. Luckily the cycle didn't continue and we're all still speaking to each other. For now.
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