I have malaria. I realize its starting to look like anyone that mentions the BHH comes down with it, but I assure you its purely coincidental. In fact, I am certain mine was lying dormant way before the BHH announcement came up. The parasites, it would appear, were swimming along grandly in my blood without a care in the world. Then suddenly it happened. They received some sort of higher calling and figured the only way they could make themselves useful was by inflicting pain.
I, on the other hand, was biding my time, hanging with my friends at this little place near home. The locals call it Punchline. I call it convenient. I was having myself a grand old time when I felt what can only be referred to as aches. Its really sad that that’s all they can be called seeing as it seems like a gross injustice to them. I was hurting all over. Initially one would figure it was an over zealous hangover manifesting itself before its time (usually 10 or 11 am the morning after), yet this had MALARIA written all over it.
As luck would have it, part of the group I was hanging with also decided it was time to leave this place. From time immemorial, the healing qualities of water have been greatly overstated, maybe it was coz I was getting high, but I figured I’d take some. Its probably psychological, but I felt better.
Better enough to go to work for the better part of the week, until Thursday afternoon when the parasites came knocking again. Not too different from tax collectors these parasitesâ€¦actually, no, they are a little different. Tax collectors can lay off after a while. These things are too bloody persistent. I’m vaguely reminded of Jehovah’s witnesses. I don’t know why that is. Is it possible that they have a quality I have alluded to in this paragraph? No matterâ€¦
So, Thursday afternoon I was feeling a little down and figured I’d try water again, but the thought left my mind soon as some work was brought in. Unfortunately, the silly parasites stayed on. Waitingâ€¦
I went to bed earlier than usual on Thursday and woke up well, earlier than usual, with a splitting headache. A headache so called, I suspect, owing to its tendency to make one feel like one’s head is coming apart. Then my eyes started hurting. In one swift move I found myself pulling a Michael Scoffield type glare. I don’t know whether its coz I didn’t have a tattoo, but nobody seemed to be feeling it.
Anyhow, this is basically where I have been going with this piece. My encounter with the pharmacist. It went something like thisâ€¦
Me: Hi, I have Malaria and I need something for it (slight pause)â€¦you don’t need a prescription or anything, do you?
Me: Cool. Okay, I want either Artemether or Artenam (my software is telling me I spelt something wrong, I don’t know if I have the PHD variety of Word installed on this machine)
He: Take Artenam. (pause brought on by his sudden need to show me just how smart he is) because it is Double Therapy…
He: Double Therapy…
Me: You do realize I can’t understand what you just said, right?
He: (looking at me with what must have been pity) Anyway….
So I walk over to the counter of dispensing and as he hands me the drugs, he proceeds to explain how I’m supposed to take the medicine.
He: So, this just means you take 6 then 2 then 2 then 2
Me: Dude, I know that bit. Its all that talk about Double Therapy…that didn’t make sense
He: Oh, double therapy?
Me: Huh? Yeah, that! What does it mean anyway?
He: (trying to look smart) (he failed) Basically it means you will take more pills…
Me: Why didn’t you just say so?
He: Now you know, but now I must ask you a question….
At this point I’m turning files over in my brain, thinking, “what the heck do I have to hide?” then Instantaneously it becomes, “Oh snap. He knows…” So it gets a little confusing coz there’s a part of me that wants to swear that I didn’t say there were weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and another part is practically perspiring and getting ready to say “I didn’t not have any sexual relations with that Lewinsky woman…” I didn’t by the way…
He: Where can I get a phone like yours…