By Dr. Jimmy, Coma physician and recovering raver
Sometimes we don’t appreciate life reaching a moment of even keel until the storm strikes.
When I first arrived at the Holiday party thrown by one of my longtime patients, it looked like another mild, friendly Coma holiday affair. People were politely mingling around the punch and finger food.
Even my ex-wife, Dee, hovering in the periphery was not enough to arouse so much as a protective antigen.
But every affliction begins with exposure.
The innocuous “How have you been?” from Dee quickly progresses to chills running up my spine as wandering hands begin to move and she asks if I’ve been working out.
Comments in front of others by Dee about our predilection for amorous encounters during weddings, funerals and retirement parties back when we were married produces a hacking cough as my drink keeps going down the wrong pipe.
As the stories continue, other guests are glancing at my sweaty brow and bloodless face and asking if I feel alright.
“Oh, I’m fine,” I say. “Just a passing cold.”
But a slow dance with the hostess turns into a Dee ambush and swing dance session (she’s leading), and after I’m woozy and bumping into tables.
I head for the bathroom but somehow I end up in the bedroom with the coats. And somehow Dee ends up in there with me.
In midst of the frenching and feeling the need to vomit I detach from myself in a feverish to out of body experience.
“I couldn’t really be here doing this on yet another Christmas, could I?” I thought.
And then I woke up at home in my own bed, what feels like days later. I knew the fever had burned through me because I could think clearly again.
But I still couldn’t grasp the wisps of memory from that night. As a clinician I know the hallucinations and nightmares that an elevated temperature can produce. But as a man I also hoped that the make-out session in bad taste would fade some day.
In good health, until next Christmas.