The Paris Diaries: The Big Sleep
The next morning, I awake to Nana and the Sauvage sitting on the bed. They are talking and laughing oblivious to the fact that the pressure in my sinuses has blossomed into a migraine. WhileI no longer fear that I might spontaneously combust, every jostle of the bed, every giggle or whine makes me want to drive a pair of scissors into my head. As I sit speculating on the location of the closest knife or weapon, the Sauvage remarks to me that last night my skin was burning. He mimes reaching out in the night and feeling my skin, his hand barely touches me when he pulls back and put his fingers in his mouth. Nana giggles. Being an idiot he repeats this comment a few times, as if I don't quite understand what he saying.
In this, my illness protects him. If I had the strength, I would have certainly come very close to killing him in front of his own daughter. It's one thing to take advantage of a woman because you are too ridiculously clueless to understand the force of her protestations, but he knew. He knew I had a high fever and took advantage of me anyway. Then the moron sat there joking about it with his daughter.*
My lack of language protects both of us. If I had a tongue in my head that he could understand, I have slashed his chest open with a few casual lines that would haunt him for the rest of his natural life. He would hear them echoing in his ears as he died. But I'm not in the condition to travel, and I'm fairly sure he wouldn't be hospitalable after a little bit of verbal Bunny-foo. And more importantly, I might need this asshat to get me a doctor, thus the smart decision is to keep my mouth shut and plan my escape as I recover. If anything, I'm more convinced than ever that I have to get out of this apartment. But in order to do that, I need to sleep.
I've always had trouble sleeping. My sleeping disorder goes back as far as I can remember to the point that my mother always knew I was really sick when I took a nap. Normally I resist sleep. I'll lie on the couch until 3 AM with my eyes barely open watching the most sucktacular programming that the sci-fi channel has to offer even when I have to get up at 6. When I'm ill my body just wants to sleep, some times up to 15 hours. And the one thing I've learned is, I don't argue with my body when I'm that sick. It knows what it needs. So I knew I needed undisturbed rest and this asshat better let me or migraine or dread illness or not and I would teach him that size really doesn't matter when you make the mistake of pissing off the angriest little NYer in Paris.
Eventually Captain Clueless realized that I still had a fever and was barely functional. He herded his daughter into the other room and left me to sleep. I took a full dose of advil. While I had a migraine, the full body achiness and the mind boiling fever had abated. The key now was to keep it that way. My sleep was heavy and uninterrupted. Wakening I had no idea how long I had been asleep, and thought it might have only been an hour or two. My nap seemed to have had a restorative effect, and I thought perhaps the worst of illness had past in feverish slumber. I showered and dressed, which made me feel even healthier. I came out into the living room. The Sauvage and Nana were watching TV. The Sauvage seemed particularly impressed by my transformation from verge of death to semi tartlicious.
Walking into the living room I realized that it must be afternoon, and, in fact, it was five in the afternoon. I had slept the entire day. I hoped, much like in the fairytales, that I would wake up to a happy ending-the curse lifted, the villagers rejoicing, and the broken faith restored. The Sauvage told me once that in Paris all things are possible. This was the one city where I might have faith in the only "evil" that Pandora managed to capture in her box: Hope. 1
* Bretons do not identify themselves as French, but have their own unique cultural identity. The stereotype of Bretons in France is that they are stupid. As I said, I often come across people who help me understand how stereotypes arise and are maintained. This was one of those moments.
1 One of my ex-boyfriend's referred to me as Pandora's Box. I was never sure what he meant, but an examination of Hesiod's description of her Works and Days made me wonder if he didn't mean I was Pandora. After all, Hermes gave her a "shameful mind and deceitful nature" as well as the power of persuasive speech and lies. Aphrodite gave her a "cruel longing" and "cares that weary the limbs." While all the evils of the world came from Pandora's box and her curious nature, she did manage to trap Hope.
Labels: fever, france, health issues, hope, paris
Bad Bunni posted at 7/21/2008 06:32:00 PM