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The thing that I hate about being ill -- which I am today -- is getting up in the morning and facing a day in which I won't give a damn about anything. I won't care about having breakfast. I won't give a damn about checking my email. I care less than caring anything at all about doing or accomplishing all the stuff I was thinking of doing or accomplishing today. I don't even care about doing the New York Times crossword puzzle, which is a very grave sign indeed.

I might care, a little bit, about reading deeper into the biography of Admiral Nelson I borrowed from a friend. Then again, I might not. I suspect I will mostly care about it because lying down on the sofa and reading on the book will probably lull me into sleep. And sleeping, and thereby forgetting about how crappy I feel, is what I really long for most at the moment.

I think my cat woke me up last night, having a throw-up somewhere out in the living room. Normally, I would get up and hunt down the throw-up and clean it up before it soaked into whatever it was he decided to throw-up on. But, I didn't feel well. I didn't care. This morning I got up and looked around for signs of throw-up but couldn't find anything. Either I was delusional last night, or the throw-up disappeared into whatever he threw up on, or he was just being a throw-up drama queen and didn't bring up anything at all. In any case, this morning I couldn't find it, and I didn't care.

This morning, I have just some miscellaneous crud. I may even feel better by noon or so. But one of these days I will have The Final Illness, and I won't care about anything, and that not caring will probably be the thing that kills me. Well, that and the metastatic cells, or the immovable heart-blockage, or whatever.

Who doesn't know that caring about being alive is vital to actually staying alive? They do studies to prove this sort of thing, of course -- to prove that "having hope" or "looking to the future" makes a big difference in the speed with which we heal ourselves -- but who doesn't already know this, instinctively?

I guess there may be some sort of natural selective advantage going on here -- when you are sick and not caring about stuff you normally care about, it does have a tendency to make you slow down, and lie down, and long for the stupefaction of sleep. And they do say sleep is good for you when you are sick.

So, okay, I guess on those terms I can accept not giving a crap about anything. For today, at least. But I better start caring about stuff again by tonight. Or at the very latest by tomorrow. Being a human being is damned hard work, and damned hard work is nearly impossible to face doing if you don't give a crap about getting it done.

Oh, and it's cold and gray and rainy this morning, too. Thanks, cosmos. I hope I can return the favor someday, though it doesn't seem likely. We are such pitiful creatures compared to you.

Still, I feel better after having bitched about being sick. Bitching and moaning means I care about something, I guess. Otherwise I wouldn't take the trouble. Bitching and moaning is the secret of life, at least today, at least for me.

All of a sudden I almost feel like checking my email. And for a minute there, I thought about having some breakfast. So I guess this probably isn't The Final Illness. Not yet anyway.

The Final Illness is not being able to care at all anymore. Gratefully, I note in myself a growing taste for something. Maybe a great big bowl of Cream of Rice.

That seems enough. For now, anyway.


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