NYC Journal #17 — Sunday, 5/18/2020 — Sunbathing Cure Days 4 & 5
It’s getting desperate. Yesterday he felt terrible. Lungs papery and soggy. Swimming in phlegm. Exhausted like a slaughtered calf.
I think, however, I understand what’s gone wrong. He’s living beyond his powers. It isn’t just caffeinated tea that has too much caffeine for him; two consecutive days of two pots of one decaf black and one decaf green tea bag poured over ice all day long is also enough to destroy his rest reserves.
Accordingly, we limited the decaf tea to a half a pot yesterday morning, he slept from 10PM to 11AM, and is now drinking only Breathe Easy tea, headlined by fennel, fennel having been suggested to him in a dream. Suggested by whom? By Joseph and the very same archangel that told Joseph he should actually stay with Mary, love her forever, dance with her to the end of time, and build her a little castle in the rolling dusty hills where the air’s so bright clear dry and safe. So we KNOW fennel’s a good tip.
We can’t say much about what happened yesterday. The memory chips were destroyed in a terrible fire that ravaged the Lower 48, sparing only the wisest and most humid areas. But we do know this much: about the right amount of sunbathing was performed at about the right amount of time and no water washed off the vitamin D as it lounged about on his earthly flesh.
Today we told him: don’t get up until you feel good and rested; then we let him have a little breakfast; take a shower; and go lay out in the regular place.
No one cared. Not the 30ish tattooed couple, masks down, leaning against each other across the way. Not the trio of 30ish girls, two on a step (dark haired caucasion?; light skinned african american with poofy curls?), the other leaning against another step (fair skin, long blond hair) at an angle, almost the proscribed six feet away. All with masks down, smiling in the sun. The two on the step in light breezy cotton; with even a midriff catchable. The one kitty corner in slacks (or jeans?), a jacket and otherwise dressed for a slightly colder day. All of them thin, not short, with tall white teeth, happy to be outside.
No one cared. A pale young Orthodox family set up camp right next to him. Over his ipod he would sometimes hear and tilting up his head he would sometimes see the tiny boy and slightly older girl, in Sunday best (he in little trousers, a nice shirt ?and dark sweater?; she in a poofy-pleated white dress and an open yellow sweater). The Mrs lay down in the grass a few feet from him, her blue denim dress down well past her knees. The Mr first parked the sporty black stroller and then chased after the kids when they wandered out of their mother’s purview. He wore a white dress shirt, black slacks, white prayer tassels; and our observer did not crane his neck at the right moment and in the right way to see the yarmulke, but we are confident it was there.
Something that’s a little bit too bad: the same people most likely to skip wearing a mask on the subway are also the most likely to walk around spitting as they loudly sing or rap along to their headphones, or while laughing hysterically at something watched on their phone or merely recollected or imagined.
But is all this sunbathing working? We understand that insufficient sleep and one too many chicken burritos laid him low yesterday, but now that the vitamin D’s had five days to seep in and reorganize his health, shouldn’t he be blooming like a flower, rather than shaking like a leaf?
Hmmm. Well, he feels pretty good today, just a little tender and delicate and fading into the day like desert sands tripping over each other and disappearing into the swirling desert winds. His temperature’s not been above 98.6F in a couple months. All we’ve got to do is flush out this lingering weakness in his lungs and sometimes overtaking his shoulders, swooping off with him like a diving hawk on a scurrying mouse. So maybe: give the sunbathing cure the benefit of the doubt: let it run its course: we’ve got tomorrow yet, and then it’s rainy for a week; so let’s keep him away from caffeine and generally deescalated, and assess at the end of the workweek.
Authors: Bartleby, John, Amble
Copyright: AM Watson
A Note on Our Standards of Accuracy: We just make everything up, though sometimes something reminds us of something or seems to somehow connect to an event we somehow perhaps observed outside of pure daydream. Hard to say.
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