Monday, November 01, 2004

Under The Weather

I somehow feel the need to be with someone the most when I am sick. So when I got sick I spent my entire weekend hanging out with my friends in South bay. No matter how much I complain about suburbs being an unexciting place to live, it is more comforting (especially when one is sick) with easier access to food, medicine, doctors, parking and other conveniences.

Fortunately my friends were not paranoid about catching the infection from me, unlike my coworkers who stayed a mile away. I'm not sure if the reason was their Indian-ness or friendship. A year back when sister got the chickenpox, everybody at her sorority shunned her; she came to me in tears because of the treatment meted out to her at school including the hospital. I couldn't keep her at my place because my roommates weren't sure whether they had had chickenpox as children. At that time the same friend offered to let her stay at his place.

The illness ruined my weekend. My friends cooked for me, fed me, put me to sleep and took off to the Halloween parties we had planned. I felt terrible being stuck at home, but was forbidden by my parents and friends to leave home. I was too weak to study so I ended up watching movies and reading books. I went through 2 movies - "Super size me," "21 Grams" and two books - "To Kill a Mockingbird," and "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," all of which were agreeable pastimes.

"21 Grams" was a movie about a woman whose family dies in an accident and a man who gets her husband's heart transplanted in his body. According to the movie, when one dies the body loses exactly 21 grams in weight. I wish I had read "To Kill a Mockingbird" when I was a bit younger. The movie "Super size me" left a lasting impression. I've recommended it to a bunch of friends and everybody has liked it so far.

"Super size me" is a documentary in which a man experiments on himself. He decides to eat only Mc. Donald’s for 30 days. The documentary follows the deterioration in his health. When he starts he is in excellent condition, his doctors fear that he might gain weight and have problems associated with weight gain, but were shocked to see the damage the diet actually caused. He became lethargic, lost interest in sex, his cholesterol shot up, and his liver got damaged. The movie focused on how the sizes of meals are unnecessarily huge at the fast food chains, especially the "super size" option. It explains how children get hooked due to the toys, targeted advertising, and playgrounds accessible at Mc. Donald’s, and how as adults the fast food chain becomes a "feel good" place to eat. The filmmaker goes to high schools and shows the unhealthy food sold at lunch. In the end, they say that Mc. Donald’s did stop selling the “super size” meal, but claim that it had nothing to do with this movie.

Despite the excellent sources of entertainment, I was raring to go out by Sunday evening. I did not heed the friendly warnings. I took 2 tablets of Advil, and topped it off with 2 glasses of wine at a pre-Halloween drinks party. One of the two or the combination made me feel all better. I got so hyper, I was practically jumping. I had put a costume together, something to the effect of a hippie, but it wasn't visible through all the layers I wore on top. Hence pumped with chemicals and dressed warmly, I went out to celebrate Halloween at Castro. Some interesting costumes were the sentinels from Matrix, some political ones against Bush, and two almost naked hot men. The funniest costume was a guy with blood on his face and t-shirt with a one liner written on the back - "I went down on her, but she was on her period." Last year was more fun since we had dressed with good costumes too. One friend was a lightening victim with a burnt t-shirt and hair sticking up. Another one was a brain donor with a bloody bandage wrapped around his head and a cabbage for brain that he carried in a jar with him. Incidentally that night we met a guy who had a signboard saying - "Got Brain?" My friend donated him "the brain." I still have the picture of them together. My picture taking experience wasn't as great this time around. I went to get a picture with one of the almost naked hot guys and got molested in the process. When I stood next to him, he started running his hands all over me mockingly. My friends cracked up on seeing the look on my face when I ran back to them.

I obviously got too sick to go to work the next day. I finally paid a visit to the doctor who just told me it's a viral infection so there's nothing he can prescribe. Oddly enough, he seemed very interested in my sex life and made me promise to make an OBGYN appointment. I asked him to take my blood test so that I can keep track of my cholesterol (I got paranoid after watching "Super size me"). Now I am all recovered and don't care for any tests or doctor visits anymore. It is funny how one does not pay attention while things are in good working conditions.

Friends for life!!! When I was in my first year college hostel I too was affected by Chicken pox at the end of the semester. Exams are starting in 2 days and I was advised by the doctor to go home and take rest. If I won't write the exams then I will be losing a year of study. Fortunately my friends helped me. They evacuated a room and I was in there for another 10 days till my exams got over and thanks to all their care the Chicken pox subsided and I was almost cured when the exams got over. I just can't forget those days and my friends.
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