Years ago, I got food poisoning.
Lying on the couch—10 or 11 or 12 a.m..; unsure—the repeating cycle of "I wish I would die" took 20-40 minutes, commencing immediately after I vomited. Which was the exact point where I would feel better and convince myself that maybe it was over and that was the last time I'd have to vomit. At 15-20 minutes post-vomit, I’d know better. And the final 20 before the vomiting started up again was spent rocking on my knees, praying for a miracle.
I was supersick. For 8 hours, I redecorated my bathroom with the hamburger I’d had for lunch. Then with bile. Then with the water I drank to keep from dying.
Because I was so thirsty. And shook violently because I was so cold. And the cramps in my stomach were almost unbearable.
And, in that weak, painfilled, fearful state, I began hallucinating. About prisoners of war. And how I thought that the CIA was using food poisoning as a weapon of torture. Making the prisoners vomit and dehydrated and weak—like me—to get information on where Saddam Hussein bought his bath mats. And I cried in compassion for these horrible deeds being done in the name of our country. And beseeched a higher power to help those poor people who were—at that very moment—being tortured by a super-secret stealth agent who was force-feeding the prisoners hamburgers made with bacteria-laden ground beef.
Yeah. I was pretty freaking sick.
I’m not overtly religious but I am just hypocritical enough to still celebrate the Christian holidays.
I’m American, after all. And our Constitution allows me to choose from a veritable buffet of incongruous experiences. I am literally free to be as hypocritical as my fun-meter desires.
So, like all regular, secular hypocrites, we do secular Easter. Without all the muss and fuss of church and history and meaning. We get eggs full of money and candy, and eat boiled eggs and toss out the orange and green Jolly Rancher jelly beans. We wipe the chocolate onto our sweatpants as we watch the churchers pass by in their finery.
And somehow I’m okay with it. The hypocrisy. Because it kinda feels like Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day; a holiday that means something bigger but where the meaning gets kinda lost in the process of celebrating.
One of my daughters called Easter the “zombie Jesus” day. And I was like, “Well, technically Jesus was a spirit.” And, I stopped myself, and furrowed my brow, not sure if that was true, and thought to myself, “Wait! Wasn’t he?” Or was it his body that got up? And I wanted to look it up. Because I became concerned about my grasp on the story. Was Jesus a freaking zombie or not?
And there you have it. Secular Easter.
I’m sick again with some virus the girls gave me.
Last night—after egg dying--I could feel my lungs were raspy—the cough that was coming would be a doozy--and I needed to really focus to get enough air. At some point, the twin pack of 1 centimeter airholes gracing my nose just weren’t cutting it, and I went to turbo-powered, oxygen-rich mouth breathing. Collapsed on my bed, barely moving; and the girls—with knowing pity—shut off the lights in the house and made sure the doors were locked.
This morning, I was very groggy—coffee hadn’t kicked in--and under the weather, and on my way to pet sit. Some guy was driving slower than my sickened patience could allow, and I cursed to myself about it. The words “Stupid IDIOT!!!” were involved. Or, you know, maybe another word.
I was seriously overreacting, and realized it, so switched gears in my head, and was like, “Amy! It’s freaking Easter. Calm yourself down.”
I had studied religions in college, and learned that—historically--Jesus was a real person. Scholars also know that what was written in the Bible isn’t the entire truth; and, to me, it’s those parts that were left out that made him such a special person.
And, I guess that’s where my mind went this morning, because—before I could stop myself--my mind apologized to Jesus for besmirching his special day with my jerkitude, and said—out loud--“Jesus: I’m an asshole. Do you think I can still go to heaven?’
I’m not sure where I was heading with that.
But it definitely beats crying into the couch begging a hallucination for mercy.