Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Who's That Rapping at My Chamber Door?

For the second night in a row, my husband tossed and turned with a horrible head cold.  In a way, I feel partially responsible for this because a couple of days ago, while I was being spiteful with my own sickness and particularly grumpy that I had to make myself a cup of coffee, I coughed and wheezed all over the bed sheets.  So last night, in lieu of an apology, I scratched his back, took his temperature, doled out fever reducing medication every hour while, I might I add, still recovering myself.  I guess this makes up for my lack of decency in my own narcissistic way.  Eric loves me.  I just brought him more toast and orange juice.  What more can a girl do?

I imagine these past few awful nights - while he gasped for air - he must have thought that death might soon come rapping at his chamber door (I certainly did listening to him for goodness sakes).  In the midst of this desperate experience I remembered a similar evening of my own many years ago before Eric and I were married.

I had been talked into tent camping in the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California during Thanksgiving weekend.  It was a last minute thing and our little group was ill prepared.  We did not check the weather forecast, bring up appropriate supplies, and to top it all off it was a "roughin' it" type of camp site - a wash your stuff in a stream and pee in an outhouse built a century ago kind of place.  Let me preface this story by explaining that this was my first camping trip (damnit, where's my sarcastic smiley face button when I need it).

Now, God bless my former in-laws and ex-husband whom I'm still very good friends with.  This painful memory does not belong solely to me but to everyone who went; however, I must supplement this with the fact that I am and always will be a spoiled, spa-resort, room-service kind of gal.  Give me a choice and I'm going to choose...hmmm, a private bathroom every time.

Here we were, my ex-husband (Jeff), his sister, her 5 yr-old bed-wetting daughter (remember this), her boyfriend, and myself who in the rush of getting packed forgot my jacket.  When the temperature dropped and the rain started pouring down,  Jeff and I cuddled up in our 2-person tent while his sister's group got soaked out of theirs after discovering a leak.  Now, our cuddly 2-person tent became a very uncomfortable 5-person tent.  Remember the bed-wetter?  That's right.  I smelled like pee.  Exasperated, I went to lie down in my car.  Another unknown fact; I have an intense fear of the dark with possible wild animals lurking about.  On the way to my car I heard what I believed to be growling.  I started screaming.  Unfortunately, I alerted the next two camp sites over.  It was my sister-in-law and Jeff snoring back in the tent.  I apologized profusely.  I sat soaking wet in my car, shivering, and feverish.  I had come down with the flu.  I vomited outside the door.  The night just couldn't get any worse or so I thought.  Sure it could.  I had to go poo.  This meant I would have to walk past one of the two campsites I had disturbed earlier, which I'm certain was playing the banjo tune from the movie, Deliverance, to get to the outhouse.  There was a boulder outside the car past my pool of vomit, a piece of newspaper, and not an ounce of pride left in me.  I was done.  That night I sat in silence, smelling like pee and vomit, waiting for death to come rapping, tapping at my chamber door - or in my case - the boulder outside the Honda Civic.
 

2 comments:

Pat said...

I hear ya about the camping. I have a perfectly good house (for now anyways)... why would I want to go out into the wilderness and pretend to be homeless? Some people PAY to do this.

or in the words of the late, great George Carlin
“Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.”

Brenda said...

Oh, while I am so very sorry for your experience, I am laughing my ass off right now. I laugh out of love and complete sisterly understanding.