21 June 2008


All day in bed, the shades drawn, weak and exhausted. At three o'clock my wife brought me a big glass of ginger ale, the cubes rattling in a big plastic Twins Fan Cup reminding me of Yahtzee! in the way illness skews the time-space continuum and events from decades ago come alive. At five o'clock I ventured downstairs, tired, worn out. I opened the freezer and saw a container of beef broth. I popped it into a pan and thawed it out, bringing it to a slow boil. A few scoops of rice left in the rice cooker and I was all set. Nothing for the stomach like ginger ale followed by broth and rice. A little salty, too. I picked a few leaves of arugula, dropped in some hot chilis, and I was soothed, body and soul. Broth settles, cleanses, nourishes. Alone in the house, hunched over a bowl of rice soup, my elbows working to prop me up. Two bowls later, I rose from the dead, Lazarus-like. I shuffled to the couch and fell into its softness, legs extended and propped up. A ceiling fan turned slowly, just enough. My head on a cushion, seeing flecks of green and sunlight outside, in the other world, the non-sick world. Me, I let the soup do its work. It moved through my body, every cell, every pore, replenishing lost liquid, salt, and bone-marrow nourishment.

What do I know about being sick and getting well? Make your own stock and always have some in the freezer.

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