I was felled on the last day of the Christmas trip.
A 24-hour flu bug is a nasty thing, indeed. I suppose anyone over the age of 3 months has had it in some strain or another. The version I had yesterday bestowed a virtual tango of hot-cold, hot-cold on my plagued, aching body. I spent the entire day — and I do mean the entire day — on my sister’s couch, audibly moaning in anguish. Though my frequent trips to the bathroom were rather…undignified, I did manage to keep down sips of water.
“What did you say?” my sister asked from the kitchen. I was flat on my back, staring at the ceiling.
“Oh god,” I croaked. And then softly to myself, “I’m dying.”
“You’re not dying,” my sister said, coming in with a mug. “This’ll put you right, she said. “It’s an old colonial America cure all.”
I opened one eye. “What is it?”
“But what is it?” If it’s possible to glower with just one eye, I was. The mug was steaming and smelt of the dark arts.
“Dude, I’m serious.”
I put the cup to my lips and a took a hot sip. “Gah!” I cried and recoiled into a cocktail shrimp.
We’ve come a long way since colonial America and I for one am quite happy about that. While DayQuil is awful and NyQuil is worse, they don’t taste like thick, lemony-cinnamon death — which is what Switchel tastes like. Nan told me the stuff is made with apple cider vinegar which explains the stinging, burning sensation I felt in my nose whenever I brought the mug to my face. I made a valiant effort and took most of the mysterious elixir. I couldn’t make it to the bottom of the cup because I would’ve needed a fork and they were all in the dishwasher.
My sister consumes strange things. While she was preparing the Switchel, I heard a loud pop! and looked over to see a can of white goo literally explode in her hands. She had purchased coconut probiotic yogurt called “CocoYo.” She takes droplets of rock juice each day. Rock juice is something that oozes from a rock in the Himalayas, I believe. There’s coffee flax (?) in her cupboard, a selection of unusual rice, and many other unidentifiable jars of things that would frighten small children.
The plague has abated and perhaps it’s due to the Switchel, perhaps it’s just time. I’m composing this on a morning plane back to Chicago and when I get home, I plan to jump into my day as fully as I can. Nothing helps me feel better after a plague than good old-fashioned bootstrap-pulling.
Bootstrap pulling –> bootblack calling –> blackstrap molasses –> backscatter scanning –> the end.