So I inhaled a bunch of catshit.

There’s nothing more disappointing than when your body fails you. I’m not talking about the times when you fail your body by wantonly eating junk and refusing to exercise and then it protests by contracting incurable “rich man” diseases. I’m talking about your averagely fit, young-enough-to-be-alive pillar of flesh deciding that some germ is stronger than it is, and recording this failure as illness.

I am ill, disgustingly so. I am so germy that I can’t stand to be near myself. When I enter a taxi, I mentally apologize to everyone who has to breathe in my carbon dioxide. When I enter a supermarket, I try to touch as few things as I can to minimize possibility of infecting some innocent. Well, that’s when I’m not feeling malicious. You see, disease attacks your mind too.
One minute I’m feeling sad about all the people I might zombiefy by accident and the next, I’m walking with arms outstretched, trying to brush against as many healthy people as I can. They just seem so smug with their shiny cheeks and clean noses.

I’ve also been having disturbing fantasies, for example: I imagine myself marching around office and punching all the healthy people to a beat of that Tutuuse track by Ruyonga. I Imagine calmly brewing a nice cup of honey-ginger tea, smashing it against my computer and then rubbing my face in the chaos while wailing about how nobody loves me. Mostly, I’ve imagined what my funeral will be like if I die of flu and how hard my enemies will laugh.

Some people are really nice when ill. Even from their sickbeds, they radiate kindness and consideration and do all within their means to appear a-OK because they’d hate for you to worry. I’m not one of those. I want a pity party complete with chocolate muffins and get well soon cards and this time, I kind of deserve one.
This is how I got sick. Last Saturday, I walked into the garage that my little brothers have been sleeping in since it was converted into a bedroom. Nothing could have prepared me for the madness.

Because they have a lot of space, we’ve been slowly filling their bedroom up with junk. A tall, wide bookshelf leaned against one wall and not one, not two but three bicycles were leaning against the opposite wall. The shelf was overflowing with cat poo, old newspapers, old clothes, old school books, clothes bought from the green shop…all kinds of rubbish. My heart wept a tiny bead of blood that pushed it’s way through the layers of my clothes and surveyed the situation. “This just won’t do”, it said, and so I got to work.

It took an entire day of constant arrangement, sweeping, wiping, dusting, burning and gagging to get the place looking as great as it does now. Because I was dealing with things that hadn’t been touched for years, I inhaled a lot of dust and powdered cat poo. I’m now disgustingly, stickily sick.
All is however well with my soul because during this burst of motivation, I discovered many awesome books; the best of all being ‘Conversations with African writers’ by Lee Nichols. It was published in the 1980s and contains an interview with one writer from every English speaking country in Africa! Although my body is sick, my mind is blown and that is good enough for me.

All donations, (pledges of ) chocolates and get well soon messages are welcome in the comment section.

I’m mortal after all.

Being sick is like winning a lottery where the prize is a week-long vacation with breakfast in bed, assisted baths, all the food that you like, pain and humiliation. If you can manage to disregard the last two razors in the swag bag, life is pretty good when you’re sick. It’s like your birthday, only you’re in pain.

I didn’t even cry.

My nice editor rung me up and said, “You know, Mildred, you don’t have to send a Stiletto this week. We’ll understand” and I said, “Star taffa.”What will the experience of going through food poisoning, an infection and malaria at the same time be worth if I can’t share my new wisdom and make a little something in the process?

I don’t fall sick often and bed rest is never an option when I do. I’ve always boasted that my body achieved the immunity you can only get from eating kalo at least once a week from the day you were born.  This time, the one minute walk from the hospital’s reception to its lab tired me out so much that I fainted against the door of a toilet, startling a man who had neglected to lock it as he was harvesting a urine sample.

Malaria gives you hallucinations. Either that or a poltergeist is happening at my house. Also, too many drugs taken at the same time will give you superhuman powers. People have been simultaneously frightened and impressed at my ability to foretell events or sense their discomfort and call them up. Now I’m sure that I’ve only foretold things by chance and I’m not at all clairvoyant, but that’s not going to stop me from acting mysterious around my visitors.

I shall dispense my wisdom now.

Humility: You lose control of your body when you’re sick. You have to resign yourself to spoiling your pants or spilling offensive body fluids onto somebody; somebody with his or her own problems in life. Sickness and smartass are two words that do not rhyme so when they say roll over, you must short circuit your pride and roll over quickly. Thank you goes a long way.

Vigilance: If after receiving a cow-sized injection you feel like buying something pretty to make yourself feel better, do it but be careful. Double check every purchase that you make.

I didn’t do this. My usually dewy lips were cracked and painful and the cheap lip balm I’d applied was making them burn. When I spotted a Himalayas Cold Balm behind the glass of Capital Supermarket’s cosmetics section, I felt like I’d found the messiah of lips. The words cold and balm checked into my mind separately. I asked the kind attendant to give it to me, poked through the aluminum on the top and smeared my lips with a combination of eucalyptus and spearmint oil. My lips still burn when I think about it. This is when I realized that I had bought a balm that’s supposed to be applied around your nose when you have a cold and not some awesome variety of extra cool lip balm.

I proceeded to buy an expired box of juice and only realized that it was iffy after I’d downed half of it. Just double-check everything when you’re sick.

Love: it is how you love in the famine that counts. If your special person is professing love and still going back to bed and leaving you alone in hospital, consider binning them.

Stay away from babies and small animals. Seriously. I gave Daniella kamulali by mistake.