Year 27's Questionable Start

Yesterday was my 26th birthday, and I had a wonderful plan. Alien was showing at my local revival theater, and the Harvard Film Archive was running On the Waterfront. Since these are both classics that I have never seen, I decided to catch Alien at 4:30 and On the Waterfront at 7. After that, my partner MK and I would take a late dinner and cocktails.

Unfortunately, just as Alien’s main titles came up, I felt my legs get ice cold and prickly. I asked MK if the theater was cold and she confirmed that it was, so I ignored it. But about an hour into the movie, I felt dizzy, my legs were like ice, and I was starting to shake.

A reasonable person would have said, “We have to go home.” But the ship’s mechanic was standing in the ship’s airshaft with the alien suspended in the chains above him, and I wasn’t about to walk out now. So I toughed out the rest of the movie.

Once we were out of the theater, though, I couldn’t fake it anymore. I felt beyond terrible, and I seemed almost to be floating back to the Harvard Square T stop. I barely made it back to the apartment before flopping into bed, pulling the blankets and comforter over me, and passing out.

Even though I’m sure I just had a flu or something similarly mundane, I kept thinking about this lunch I’d taken with an old friend the day before. She’s a grad student in a microbiology lab, and we’ve been friends since 4th grade. I lost touch with her several years ago, and only discovered this past week that we live in the same apartment building.

Anyway, while I was feeling incredibly, dangerously sick, I kept thinking about this friend and how she mentioned she worked with an opportunistic pathogen. And even though it was absurd, a part of me wondered, did her pet pathogen follow her to lunch?

For someone who frequently contemplates epidemics, societal breakdowns, and the zombie apocalypse, this part of Cambridge is a tough place to be in general. I am surrounded by futuristic looking office and laboratory buildings that all service the biotech industry, and many of the people I meet around here are also involved in that field. This all just serves to make sickness just a little more menacing to one with an overactive imagination. Every time I get the flu, I start building it up in my head to be The Stand.

Anyway, that’s how my birthday ended up getting trashed. I’m mostly just annoyed I didn’t get to see On the Waterfront. Why, oh why, did I have to get hit with this yesterday of all days?

    • MK
    • September 9th, 2009 10:20pm

    Happy birthday!

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