I wish I’d taken the camera to Emeryville on Saturday, because the sun was glorious and everybody was behaving perfectly in character: Neil banging competently away at the chicken coop, Salome micromanaging, Lesley providing sardonic commentary, Kat curled up with a graphic novel, Claire blicketing, Ian and Jack competing for the position of Most Affable Guy, Muriel gorging on nutritional yeast.

It’s nice that we had a good day because by the time we got back to the city Jeremy had started to feel sick. He refused all food and turned a rather ghastly shade of green. He spent the first half of the night resting on the couch between vomiting sessions, then at about 5am he started to feel better and I started to feel worse, so we traded places.

Carole and Jamey, may their names be blessed forever, took Claire all day Sunday so we could recover. I slept, on and off. I had stomach cramps and shooting pains in all my joints and long bones. Some time around 11am I pierced the illusion of sequential time; the sentences in my head were all beginning and ending simultaneously. Jeremy said I didn’t have a fever, and in fact it was probably just dehydration. I hadn’t been drinking much because Jeremy said even water made him throw up. I started drinking very watered-down apple juice, which helped a lot.

I asked my white blood cells what was the story. They replied that the pains in my joints were in fact caused by my immune system fighting off the virus. I asked if I was going to throw up again; they said no. I asked when I’d feel better. They conferred among themselves, then reported that I’d be up and about in six hours. This all turned out to be accurate. It sounds Californian as all get-out, but in fact it was my crazy Queenslander sister who first taught me that you can ask your body questions like that and obtain useful replies.

Now I’m back at work, feeling basically okay but extremely tired and sad. Fighting off a virus seems to suck all the serotonin out of my brain, the way firestorms use up oxygen. I don’t like being sick, but I do like my blue-eyed little disease vector, especially when she comes hurtling at me for a hug. I guess it balances out.

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