Monday, March 5, 2007
Whatever Happened to That Bootleg Guy?
Oddly enough, I rarely use this blog for the day-to-day detailing of my mundane meanderings, but the last week has been anything but.
(So, is it implied that I meant "anything but mundane meanderings" or would it have been better to type it out? I mean, I got the initial alliterative effect in there. Yeah, once was enough.)
Friday, February 23: I woke up around 3:30 that morning with my head in the kind of hazy fog that felt like I'd foisted four or five pints of Sam Adams the night before. In actuality, I had. And, the wife was not pleased. But, now, I couldn't go back to sleep and for the rest of the day, I couldn't shake the haze. At 4:00 PM, it finally hit me. Gastroenteritis. My friends…over the next several days, this became the stomach flu from hell. Quite the conundrum from both ends, if you will.
Saturday, February 24: Mrs. Bootleg had been felled by the same ailment. It's 2:00 AM and her 4'8" frame is taking up all of a queen sized bed, while I'm downstairs on the couch alternating the chills with odd nocturnal ("nickturnal"?) sweats that always freak me out. Meanwhile, Kid Cameron has taken advantage of this absence of parental guidance by refusing to go back to bed after waking up in the wee hours. He gets a Wiggles DVD on "repeat" play at around 3:00 AM, as the wife and I willingly downgrade ourselves from "good Black parents" to "most Black parents". I mean, we weren't leaving him in the car while we went to the club, but still…
Sunday, February 25: I hadn't eaten anything since Friday afternoon. I'm convinced that "lack of appetite" is just doctor jargon for "fear of food". I knew I'd only be "renting" that apple and after nearly 40 hours, I had nothing left to give. I could deal with the dry heaves, but the equivalent at…the other end? It got so bad that I had to switch to Jalen's, uh…well, to these. Speaking of which, by now, neither me or Mrs. Bootleg had seen the boy in about eighteen hours. We assumed he was still in the house, but couldn't muster up enough concern between the two of us.
Monday, February 26: On Friday, I weighed 185 lbs. This morning I weighed 179 lbs. It was the dawn of a new work week and I was unable to dip into my 235 hours of accumulated "time off", due to a long-scheduled meeting with one of our customers up in Los Angeles. With no idea how many pit stops I'd have to make between San Diego and L.A., I opted to drive myself up I-5. With only a few gallons of water, orange juice and sports drinks in my belly over the past 72 hours, I reached L.A. around 2:30 and entered the hotel's conference room.
Now, without putting too much on it, I'd have to equate my performance with that of Michael Jordan's in game five of the 1997 NBA Finals.
Imagine a room full of crusty ex-military men who, as we all know, aren't fond of civilians and aren't fond of civilians who've never served their country and, of course, aren't fond of "the black people". Somehow, I summoned the strength to win them over professionally, with whatever the hell it is I do for a living, and personally with an assortment of anecdotes that the geezers were asking me repeat to anyone who missed it the first or second time. I suppose it was probably due to the fact that most of them had lost their hearing from shrapnel-to-the-ear injuries during the Spanish-American War, but whatever.
Anyways, afterwards, just like MJ, I returned to my hotel (locker) room and collapsed on the floor.
BTW, a quick note on the hotel.
I made my reservations late and my initial choice was booked solid. That left me with a place called Best Western Jamaica Bay Inn.
Best Western. And, this was obviously the part of "Jamaica" where the houses are made of old roasted goat and jerk chicken bones. The wind and rain from outside felt like it was blowing right through the tissue paper architecture of what amounted to a cubicle with a bed and bathtub. On top of all that, of the room's 40-odd TV stations, half of them were in Spanish.
Still, I survived that night and made it back home. It's been almost a week and I still don't feel as though I've completely recovered. I'm hoping that I can get back to regularly blogging, even if it's only at 60%. It's hard when you've set the standard at 70%.
It's damn hard.