Wednesday, January 12, 2005

"...J'appuyais tendrement mes joues contre les belles joues de l'oreiller qui,
pleines et fraîches, sont comme les joues de notre enfance. Je frottais une
allumette pour regarder ma montre. Bientôt minuit. C'est l'instant où le
malade qui a été obligé de partir en voyage et a dû coucher dans un hôtel
inconnu, réveillé par une crise, se réjouit en apercevant sous la porte une
raie de jour. Quel bonheur, c'est déjà le matin ! Dans un moment les
domestiques seront levés, il pourra sonner, on viendra lui porter secours.
L'espérance d'être soulagé lui donne du courage pour souffrir. Justement
il a cru entendre des pas ; les pas se rapprochent, puis s'éloignent. Et la
raie de jour qui était sous sa porte a disparu. C'est minuit ; on vient
d'éteindre le gaz ; le dernier domestique est parti et il faudra rester toute la
nuit à souffrir sans remède..."

-from Combray

(I tenderly pressed my cheeks against the pillow's plump cheeks which, full and fresh, are like the cheeks of our childhood. I lit a match in order to take a look at my watch. Just about midnight. It's that instant when the the invalid who was obliged to take a trip and who had to sleep in an unfamiliar hotel, awoken by some sort of crisis, rejoices in his perception of a ray of daylight under the door. How happy that it's already morning! In a moment, the help will have woken up, he will be able to ring for them, someone will come to help him. The hope of being soothed like that gives him the will to suffer. Just then he thought he heard some steps; the steps approach, then go away. And the bit of daylight under the door has disappeared. It's midnight; someone just turned off the gas; the last of the help has left and it will be necessary to spend the entire night suffering alone...)

Last night was about this bad. All this afternoon was the same - rolling around in bed, tortured, wanting some relief from that that's got a hold on me. (I'm wondering if it's not the flu that's been going around the office? I wouldn't be surprised. I was next to the only person who'd not gotten it, and I know that due to emotion, the weather, just being plain old worn out, the immune system's taken a battering these past couple weeks.)

Ordinarily, I don't mind suffering in silence. At this particular instance, though, I'm feeling so wretched that all I'd like is a cool hand on my forehead. Un peu de soulagement. I hate feeling so week, so raw. I hate feeling like the only thing I can get the strength up for is to whine. Oh...poor me. Sob.

(And, yes, I realize that I'm much better off than literally millions out there on this cold, cold rock. When I'm feeling better, I'll go back to worrying about them; I'll go back to being functional for them. Right now, though, I need to take time to wallow in how pathetic I'm feeling.)

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