Breaking Hibernation

deep sleepI haven’t left my bed yet today. I’ve been lying here reading and sleeping. Sometimes I ponder something: Why do Sundays move so fast? When did I start needing two pairs of glasses?

Adding to my lethargy is the fact that I am sick and every move seems to propel mucus from some bodily orifice. I ache: knees, head, and back. A shuffle to the bathroom is an adventure in wincing and groaning.

To boot, the upstairs neighbors are once again doing their part to send me to a high tower with a long range rifle by doing karaoke and stomping like Irish step-dancers.

It’s February, a month which was meant to be hibernated throughout. Bears, birds, even fish sleep through this shittiest of shitty winter months. And I am following this ritual as well. So pretty much since January 3rd, I have been hibernating in my flat as though it was a cave. A cave with internet access and a stove, but a cave nonetheless. There’s a visible funk, it’s dark, I have the feeling I’ll stumble across a pile of bones and a fur bed.

I have begun to resemble a mid-sized woodland animal. I am hairier, the hair creeping up my cheeks towards my eyelids, onto my back, and linking my eyebrows in a Bering Strait of devolution. I am squintier, my vision is limited to the things directly in front of me and I keep forgetting to wear my glasses – either pair. I eat more and I move less, so I have the nice rounded shape of a rotund chipmunk. I have spent the day in a half-conscious state of torpor.

Like any animal who has been awakened from hibernation, I am now hungry. Plus, I can no longer stay in bed with a good conscience or without developing bed sores. I get up amid a symphony of disconcerting cracks and (I swear) whistles. I scratch my back against a door frame.

An inspection of the fridge confirms my fears that, unless I want to dine on black olives covered in French dressing, there is no food. Therefore I am compelled to step out of doors and find some. Since it’s time to hibernate I try to avoid outside like it’s a Kenny Chesney concert. But it’s very rare that random strangers bring food to my house, so it is with a frown and a whimper that I put on my shoes.

It takes me a minute to realize it, but it’s blue outside. I rub my eyes and look again. Yep, blue skies.

After a snowy December and a dreary January, this February has surprisingly offered more than a few blue days. The air is crisp today, the air cool and comforting. I walk along, the achiness getting kicked out of my knees and the sun warming my neck. I scan the ground until my back stretches itself out and I can wander upright, almost like a real human.

By the time I get to the store, the flow of mucus is mostly stemmed. Also, I am greeting others, smiling, and I find that I am whistling (from my mouth, not my joints).

I do my shopping, buy some steaks. I feel like a bear (eh, chipmunk) so I deserve red meat; plus the B monster might be appreciative enough to let me sleep through the night. I splurge on a candy bar as well. I walk home quickly, feeling looser, more awake, and I don’t even mind that I have broken a sweat.

Back home, I turn on some music, throw open the curtains, make some lunch. I even dance around to the profound distaste of my downstairs neighbor and the profound joy of the neighbor who catches me while smoking on her balcony. The walk has improved my mood, my physical health, and my head cold. Maybe that’s something I should think about in the future.

This revelation would be more poignant if I don’t come to it as I fall asleep on the couch.

  1. #1 by greg galeone on February 24, 2014 - 3:47 am

    good read damo.

  2. #2 by Mary Widdicks on February 24, 2014 - 4:23 am

    Ha ha ha! I love the imagery of you gradually returning to human from a hibernating bear as you walk to the grocery store. It’s like being a werewolf…but in reverse. I imagine a trail of fur behind you as you walk. Brilliant.

    Also, spending about two months in bed sounds absolutely heavenly, and if a little fur is the price I’d have to pay then so be it!

    • #3 by Damien Galeone on February 24, 2014 - 8:03 am

      Ha! Well, you know, it is EXACTLY how I feel towards the end of the winter.

  3. #4 by Mirkitty on March 5, 2014 - 6:10 pm

    well…dancing? Really?? 🙂

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