This is something I wrote on Thanksgiving two years ago.
11.25.11. Thanksgiving was today, but I’ll start with last Saturday. It was my little sister’s, Catherine, 21st Birthday. Her and I went out for burgers at Hopdoddy and a movie and then to 6th street. (We saw Twilight: New Moon but at the Alamo Draft House, so obviously we saw it ironically.) We went to Liberty Bar on the east side because a few of my comic friends were there. (I told everyone we saw Melancholia, because shame.) It wasn’t very fun because I wasn’t feeling very well. I tried to pretend like I was having a good time for my sister, but couldn’t fake it anymore after vomiting in the bar bathroom — it wasn’t quite Trainspotting, but it was a disgusting bathroom. When we got home that night I continually threw up. Catherine eventually had to drive me to the hospital at 7am. We decided to do this after calling my older sister, who’s a doctor, and she let us know it might be my appendix and my organs could explode. I finally zombied my way to the emergency room to wait and wait some more. I finally told Catherine to go tell them I was shitting myself. Their response: “Oh, so she is! Well, bust my buttons! Why didn’t you say that in the first place? That’s a horse of a different color! Come on in!” They then gave her a puppy pad for me to sit on and eventually opened their Emerald City Gates. Though this was a trick. They only brought me back to get my weight, blood pressure and ask me questions, which during I tried to lie down on the floor and was abruptly told I was not allowed to do that as I could get infections from the floor. Eventually I was given a bed. It turned out I had food poisoning and was seriously dehydrated. They gave me some drugs, which the doctor said “would make me feel better but would also make me feel like I got hit by a truck for the next few days.” Also, that’s not a great trade off. The doctor deduced I had food poisoning because I mentioned I had a tuna burger earlier. It actually turned out I hadn’t been poisoned, but had a stomach virus and was quite contagious.
My mom, dad and older sister drove up from San Antonio. I half-consciously remember them sitting on the ground outside my apartment singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Catherine while I slept inside. (They wouldn’t come inside because of the vomit smell. Fair.) My parents insisted I come home with them, for what would be a miserable week. I slept probably 50 of the next 72 hours. Also, my mom became ill. She was the first family member I took out with my pandemic stomach virus.
My little sister came home Wednesday night. She was already sick with a sinus infection, however, by the next morning I’d infected her. She was now vomiting and had to stay in bed while we had Thanksgiving at my older sister’s house. Later that night my Dad started puking, all over the place everywhere. I had hoped most of all I wouldn’t infect my dad, but I did. My dad getting sick was terrifying because he has Alzheimer’s and can’t communicate well, meaning he can’t articulate a complete sentence. Already so helpless, he was now having to suffer more, because of me.
I haven’t cried in months. Tonight I wept. All I can think about is how sad life is. My dad can’t communicate or do anything other than sit and watch TV. I also can’t help but feel sad for my mom and her life. My parents had a miserable marriage, but stayed together. Then both her parents had Alzheimer’s. Now she’s a full time caregiver for my dad. I’m not sure she has ever done anything for herself. I’m not even sure what would make her happy in life. All this also makes me think about my life. I think comedy and trying at comedy makes me happy, but maybe pursuing comedy is just selfish and superficial in the overall scheme of things? I don’t know. I don’t know a lot of things about life, but I guess I have learned that tragedy can trump hate and also, that you can bypass the ER waiting room if you’re shitting yourself.