Lowering The Bar: If Only I Was Cooler

The summer of 2003 was one of many low points in my life. I had been in Baltimore for just about a year and a half, I was working at a music distribution company during the day, and I had the illustrious job of door guy at night. My mother had just gotten horribly ill, forcing me to go back to Ohio for a couple of weeks. Immediately upon returning to Baltimore, I caught mono (since it’s called the kissing disease, you might imagine the tale of how I contracted mono would be associated with a good story, but I didn’t even know anyone with mono!).

When I first became sick, I started cutting my hours back at the Sidebar, and trying to work a little less at the day job. By the end of the first week, I couldn’t even get out of bed. I sold off a ton of my worldly possessions and borrowed a little from my parents to make rent for the next couple of months. It was incredibly difficult. The absolute worst part of being this sick was missing my uncle’s funeral; I still feel badly about not being there for my family. Here are a couple of other crappy things that happened to me during this time:

2003 was before I went vegan, and there was a point where I pretty much lived off of milk shakes. There was a little coffee shop near my apartment that specialized in amazing shakes, so I would often go there rather than eating (I’m fairly certain this isn’t the liquid diet everyone else experienced when they were in their early twenties). One afternoon, towards the beginning of my sickness, I left the offices of Morphius Distribution early due to my inability to be productive, and stopped by the coffee shop for a shake. I was barely conscious when my drink was finally prepared, and as I turned to leave, I lost a momentary bout with gravity. I ended up sprawled out on the floor, completely covered in milky grossness. To make matters worse, as I was trying to pick myself up from the ground, I proceeded to vomit just a little bit down the front of my shirt. As a consolation prize, they gave me another drink, and I apologetically left in a hurry to get home, bury my shame in a glass of cow waste, and sleep away my next couple of months.

During my sickness, naturally my social life took a significant nosedive. So, as soon as I was feeling up to it, I went with some friends to one of the Taxidermy Lodge events (Taxlo was an indie dance night) at the Talking Head. Upon entering, the bartender yelled out that he hadn’t seen me in awhile. I told him it was because I had mono,and had been more or less bedridden. Immediately afterwards, he grabbed me by my face and kissed me on the mouth. It turned out that he didn’t believe me. When he found out I was serious, I got a slight verbal lashing for potentially starting an epidemic. Thankfully, the place didn’t need to be quarantined, but I couldn’t hang all night without feeling too weak, so I went home a little early.

Needless to say, my summer was ruined. My mother made a full recovery, but aside from that, it was nothing but bad news, infections, a death in the family, and other incredibly awkward situations all because I wasn’t cool enough to get mono in high school.

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