Kevin lived four doors down from me. Kevin and his brother Tim and I would sit in their television den and watch that old program from Noon until 4 p.m. Every Godzilla or Rodan or Space Alien film ever made would re-run for those four hours. We had soda and peanuts and made predictions about who the monster would get next.
“I bet it’s the General ... No. No. No. It’s the blonde lady .... No. I think it’s the scientist .. It can’t be the scientist - they need him to say where the monster came from ...,” we’d go on and on and never get tired of it. The more attacks and the more victims the more fun to watch and to guess.
Right now I’m pretty sure the next victim is me.
My son caught a virus over the weekend. He’s passed it to my wife. I know I’m next. I can feel it on the back of my neck like lightning breath or a sonic attack or a beak thrust. It’s going to be bad.
This feeling of expectant sickness is most awful because it makes me dread the things I usually love most.
“Thank you for my tea,’ my poor sick wife said to me earlier and gave me a kiss. It was delightful. I’m also sure is the reason I’m sneezing now.
“Just like pod attacks,” I’m thinking, “Even the woman you love could be a danger.”
Either that or the little wet nosed hug that my son gave me when I picked him up to take him to bed.
“That’s it,” I thought, “The death ray. I’m done for.”
I dread getting sick. I’m an unabashed baby about it. I just can’t be sick. No way. Can’t stand it. I also can't do a thing about it.
I remember being sick a lot as a kid, and then again as a teenager. And then as an adult (before children) I remember one or two colds a year. I got my flu shot annually and took care of myself.
But for the last few years with my son and daughter, it’s been one long string of different viruses - seven or eight a year. I feel like I used to feel when we had to go cloths shopping for elementary school. Each new virus feels like one of the many pairs of Sears Toughskin Jeans my mother used to make me try on. It just goes on and on. Ugh!
I know. I know. I’m washing my hands. I had chicken broth for dinnner. I’m taking my vitamin C and an omega tablet my wife has convinced me will help (despite the fact that it didn’t help her). I’m also on Airborne - something a friend recommended to me. But these preventive remedies feel like those faulty force fields that the creature from The Forbidden Planet somehow penetrates. It’s all in vain.
“Get some rest,” my wife said to me just a few moments ago as I stopped up with some toast and water.
She’s probably right. I’m sure the rest will help more than anything. I’ll stop being a baby and go to bed.
And in a day or so, I’ll either still be healthy or be outright sick and won’t mind as much. But for now, I’m examining every little odd feeling or sneeze as if I were in a dark labyrinth and using all my senses to detect the approach of the dark unknown creature that lurks there.
“Show yourself!” I want to say and brandish my ray gun, “Stop playing with me!”
But like a good monster film, the creature never does. It just appears behind the victim suddenly for a candid toothy close up for the delight and horror of the viewers. And then ....
Tune in over the next few days. I’ll let you know if I get caught or survive.