Sunday, May 9, 2010

Well, well, well. (Richmond, VA)

It starts Friday afternoon at work. My throat feels so sore I can't swallow. I force myself to down some water. Perhaps I'm dehydrated?

A sore throat never killed me before, so why should I let it stop me now?

I meet A. outside of our usual First-Fridays-cafe rendezvous. My throat feels a bit better, especially if I avoid swallowing, talking, and thinking about the pain.

We flit from gallery to gallery. Gallery 5 (an old, converted police and fire station that has become a gathering place for the young and hip and a showplace for socially relevant art, blaring music, and fire dancers)features a necklace made of those little, green plastic toy soldiers. Ghost Print Gallery (the front of a tattoo parlor) always has interesting stuff and doesn't disappoint, although I barely recall what is showing; my eyes are always drawn to the painting of a greyhound by a Barcelona artist and to the work of a young man who paints race horses. Not usually of interest to me, but so well done that I'm glad to see their work still hanging. ADA always exhibits the edgiest artwork. Adorable owner John is demonstrating a roll of original, paper hand towels, cranking the handle to reveal frame-able illustrations at $10 a section. Awer Bull, a Lost Boy from Sudan, represents his and other Lost Boys' paintings at another location.

After about an hour, A. leaves to meet another friend at the library, where Indonesian dancers and musicians will perform. I decide to stay behind and sit down, just watching the throngs of art and artsy students, musicians, couples, triples and other multiples of every age, race, and ethnicity as they stroll by. The weather is perfect for people watching, I've landed in an ideal location (halfway between two groups of musicians) and across the street from the crafts market), and every joint in my body is aching.

I pry myself off the chair. I am SOOOO tired I can barely reach the car. I reconsider my idea of watching the sidewalk performances taking place at various venues on my way home. I realize that stopping would be hazardous to my health and that my health could be hazardous to others.

By 9pm I'm in bed. I fall into a restless sleep, waking up every couple of hours.

When I finally emerge from my sweaty covers at about 8:30 on Saturday morning, my throat feels fine. It's my head that is aching, my limbs that are hurting, and my temperature that is climbing. I'm cold. No, I'm hot. I'm congested. My nose is stuffed and running, sometimes simultaneously. I feel really, really tired, sleepy, miserable.

I had been looking forward to today. We were going to the college graduation celebration for the son of one of my oldest and dearest friends. All week long I'd anticipated spending time with G and her family in their beautiful home, a modern take on an Italian villa, situated on a Charlottesville hilltop, but with a view straight out of the Tuscan countryside. Each time I visit, the lush gardens have expanded: there are vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs. There's a koi pond, a deck, and terraces. I expected delightful conversation, delicious and gorgeously presented food (G is a great cook and a true food artist), and the pleasure of seeing G and J's bright, beautiful children, who have grown up so fast and turned out so well.

Instead, I spend the day sleeping and sneezing. Apparently, this is just what I need to do (i.e., sleep, not sneeze).

Today, Sunday, I feel so much better. No zumba, though. No running or even walking around. Don't want to push myself. I'm staying inside until this evening, when I'll have dinner with some friends.

My Colombian daughter, my son, my son's friend girl have called and/or emailed to wish me a happy Mother's Day. I feel very, very well, thank you!

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