I went home yesterday convinced I was in the process of dying. I felt awful. Throbbing head. Nausea. Chills. Aching body. Fever. Everything I felt seemed fairly indicative of impending doom. But...I stayed the whole day. Miserable as I was, I knew that they wouldn't be able to handle the day if I left and somebody from behind the already short staffed counter had to take my place.
So I suffered silently at my desk.
And then I went home, the blissful haven of peace and quiet that would give me hours of dark, silent rest. I would be able to rejuvenate myself and get better.
I have never been more disappointed by anything in my entire life.
Home was not a haven of quiet, calm repose. Home had Padawan and Master Plo Koon and Choo Choo and Toby and Rascal and Upstairs Assholes and Dog Kicking Bitch who was slamming doors...and basically everything conspired against me.
I wanted to sleep in the bedroom. But Master Plo Koon wanted to play Minecraft on Padawan's computer, which is no longer a laptop since Master Plo Koon destroyed that way back when he spilled water in it and fried everything. The bright screen bled through my closed eyes and seared through my brain like a knife through room temperature butter. Every click of the mouse and tap of the keyboard rebounded on the walls of my skull until it struck the right temporal lobe and stuck there, leaving me with the distinct impression the he was stabbing my head with a screwdriver. The sound effects? Even worse.
Then, of course, there was the couple above us who decided that nine o'clock at night was the best time to make noise. I don't know if they were building furniture or moving it or maybe just dropping bowling balls on the damn floor above the bedroom, but I was hating them more and more with every passing second that felt like a million years. These are the same assholes who keep throwing their cigarette butts over their balcony and into the yard of the neighbor below us and then every time the neighbor below us complains about the cigarette butts in the yard he pays for, the office calls Padawan or me. And they say, "Stop throwing your cigarette butts into his yard," and then I say, "We don't smoke and we don't have friends that smoke! It's not us!" and then they say, "Well the people above you say that they have ash trays they use."
And then I say, "Well, they are really stupid liars because we don't smoke and you know we don't smoke and it can only be them."
And then the office employee always sighs and says, "Yes, I know, but we were trying to give them the benefit of the doubt before fining them..."
"Well, it's not us. They are lying. Can you tack on an extra charge for lying? Because I don't appreciate them blaming it on us when it's clearly them."
Wow. How did I get there? The point is that I already hated those stupid sons of bitches above us, and this was just making me hate them more. If I thought I could have made it up entirely conscious I would have climbed the stairs and gave them what for. Except that Padawan insisted it wasn't loud at all and it would be silly to complain to them. I thought he might be right. Plus I didn't want to die on the stairs if I was going to die.
Speaking of Padawan...Padawan was in the living room watching Top Gear and I could hear the engines and car doors and laughter and noises and taunting that go with the show and it was like it was all happening right there in my ear, which was also where Choo Choo was sitting as she licked her paws obsessively. The sound of a dog licking her paws non-stop right next to your ear on the side it really hurts is just torture.
Finally I just decided my brain was going to explode and I was going to die a very painful death if I didn't get away from the noise so I gathered two blankets and went outside on the balcony to enjoy the peace and quiet of the great outdoors on the patio furniture. And sat down, got all comfortable, and was about to drift off into a nice sleep when...
"BOOOOOOOW WOO WOOOOO! AROOOOOOOOOOOOO! BOOOOOW WOOOOO!"
Ah, Toby. The dulcet tones of his Basset Hound howl rocketed straight to the sensitive spot on my head and my vision went black for a few seconds, and then I realized that I'd progressed from simple horrifying headache to full on Migraine. And as I was standing up, unsteadily, to go back inside the other neighbor's dog came out and started barking madly.
"WOOOF! WOOF! GRRRRRRR GRUFF!"
Ah, Rascal. Always following Toby's direction.
A round of zigzagging, wavy vision followed and I crawled back inside.
Padawan looked at me. "What are you doing?"
"It's like nobody fucking cares that I'm dying!" I snapped at him. I couldn't help it. He was contributing to the noise that was going to result in my death.
"Master Plo Koon, come in here. Chanel doesn't want you to play games anymore."
Angry Chanel. "It's not that I don't want him to play games! I just want him out of the damn bedroom so I can rest! My head is going to explode brain matter all over the apartment and you're going to be pissed when it happens because I'll be dead and you'll have to clean it up yourself!"
"Why can't I play games?"
"Chanel doesn't feel good. Come play X-Box with me."
"KEEP IT DOWN!"
I shut the door, snuggled down into bed...
And jerked awake about an hour later when some asshole on a motorcycle stopped on the road outside of my window and revved his engine obnoxiously for no reason. And he did it again. And again. And again. And I was seriously considering picking up a coffee mug and going outside and throwing it at his head when he finally decided to drive off.
And I went to check on Padawan and Master Plo Koon, but he was already gone so it was just Padawan and I asked him to please turn down the noise of Top Gear and he just turned it off looking very pouty and I climbed into his lap and curled up and said, "Please don't be mad! You don't have to turn it off! Just turn it down!"
"Chanel, I couldn't even hear half of what it was saying, it's turned down so low! Your ears are just sensitive right now!"
And then the neighbors slammed a door so loud I just couldn't help it and I burst into sobs and tears and wails, which just aggravated my sensitive head further and made me cry harder, which hurt more and more, until Padawan couldn't take my anguish anymore and turned off all the lights and sound makers, even the dishwasher, and took me to bed where I cried myself to sleep.
I woke up late this morning with the Migraine gone but a dull headache still in place, my nausea still present, and my fever still burning away. But a dose of ibuprofen brought the temperature down to a tolerable 97.8 degrees, which is only .8 degrees above my average temperature. And I thought, well I don't feel better, but I don't feel worse so I can make it to work.
And it's a damn good thing I did because Miss Call In called in, Dizzy took off for South By (and I fucking hate South By, just so you know) for the next week and a half, and if I had been missing they would have had to pull someone else from behind the counter which would have been a whopping four employees short since my absence takes someone else away.
So I am here. No hungry. Nauseous. Short tempered. But I am here.
Doing my job.
I deserve a Medal of Honor or something.