In the past few hours, I'd lost a lot of fluids. My throat ached like it was cracking along a fault line and my tongue resembled a worm drying out in the sun. I should've known better than to grab the vegetarian special from Copernicus' Bagels when the sign said they were going out of business in a week.
Unfortunately, getting water involved getting up. The 10 feet from the couch to the kitchenette sink might as well have spanned the Sahara Desert. It felt as though someone had wrapped a fifty-pound weight around my forehead and stuck a blender in my stomach. At least I wasn't whimpering from the nausea anymore. Hopefully that meant I was done praying to the porcelain god.
Food poisoning is exhausting. As much as I needed a nap, falling asleep without replenishing my fluids would put me at risk for severe dehydration. If I became seriously ill, it could be days before someone thought to stop by my one bedroom apartment and check on me. Maybe I was exaggerating the danger (especially since my cell phone was in my pocket), but I tried to avoid taking chances with my existence whenever possible.
Mazel leapt onto my stomach and I writhed in agony. My stupid cat gracefully bounded onto the floor and then mewed at me for attention. As soon as he sensed my displeasure, he rolled onto his back and stretched out his front paws. It was his way of saying, whatever I did, I'm too damn cute for you to stay mad at me, right?
Well, at least Mazel had gotten my blood flowing. I sat up and the world swam around me. As soon as the room stopped spinning, I braced myself against the armrest and rolled off the couch. Hunching over like a Neanderthal, I staggered into the kitchenette.
After filling up a red plastic Solo cup to the brim, I made my way back to the couch, not caring that small drops of water were trickling out of the cup with each step. Placing the cup on the shallow carpet next to the sofa, I lay back down. Mission accomplished!
Strider crawled over. He had a bizarre obsession with water that wasn't in his food bowl. If left to his own devices, he'd lap up a couple drops, lean in closer and spill the rest.
"Go away," I said, flicking my hand at Strider like he was a pesky bee. He paused, looked at me and took another step towards the water.
I produced a deep rumbling growl.
Strider whirled around, knocked the cup over with his tail and dashed into the bedroom.
My salvation was a puddle on the carpet floor.
I forced myself off the couch again and repeated my trek with the Solo cup.
This time, I carried the water with me onto the couch. I wished I had a straw so I didn't have to lift my head up to drink. Propping up my neck up with a pillow, I brought the cup to my lips. I must've tilted the back up a little too high, because water shot into my nostrils.
I sneezed, released the cup and soaked my undershirt.
Ugh. This was a wonderful way to spend the second day of 2006. If I was going to get this sick, why couldn't it at least be on a workday? Food poisoning wasn't what I'd had in mind for the bonus Monday of the holiday weekend.
Take three. I made a side trip to the bedroom and put on a fresh University of Great Lakes t-shirt. This time, I braced myself on the kitchen counter and guzzled down a cup of water. Our refreshed hero stumbled back to the couch, finally ready for that nap.
It was a little cold, but I wasn't up for another expedition to the bedroom in search of a blanket. Too bad cats can't fetch blankets, procure straws, or rent DVDs. A back rub and comforting kiss on the forehead would've been nice too.
A couple hours later, I woke up with my arms wrapped tightly around a sofa cushion.
The trek to the kitchen no longer felt like a crawl across a massive desert, but I was still a little too dizzy to stand comfortably. After throwing back some more water, I made my way back to the couch, grabbed my laptop and checked out profiles on Tribe Date.