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Who Will Feed the Chickens

Who Will Feed the Chickens



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Published by dhyanayoga
A tale of chronic fatigue syndrome
A tale of chronic fatigue syndrome

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Published by: dhyanayoga on Mar 31, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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I’m awake now. I’ll do my silly arm exercises whilelying here in bed. Then I’ll set my feet on the floor, the rest of me still lying here, half propped up on pillows. I’ll do somemore exercises. Swing my arms. Press my hands together.Then ever so slowly I’ll sit up, inhaling, counting to six, thenexhale also to the count of six. I will stand up on another inhalation, wait till the dizziness subsides, pad into the bathroom, stick my head into the sink, turn on the taps, washmy hair, my face, twist my hair up into a towel. Look into themirror. The spaces under my eyes will be purplish-blue, myskin pasty, but there aren’t many lines even though I am nowapproaching forty. My body moves in slow motion. I will liveto be one-hundred-twenty-six. At least. I will outlive everyonein my family, including my grandchildren. But at least theywill have lived. They will have had lives to live.I don’t do this of course. I decide that it’s just a waste of  precious energy. It hasn’t done me any good in the two yearsI’ve been practicing these wake up exercises. Instead I lie herefor five more minutes, irritated that my innumerable dreams areso draining. Last night I must have begun to feel nauseated inmy sleep again and it was incorporated into my dream. Peoplewere vomiting everywhere and I kept pouring bottles of Gravoltablets into my mouth but couldn’t swallow. By the time Ishook myself awake it was too late. But I managed to drift ofagain sometime before my alarm woke me once more. Nowmy stomach feels numb, which is good. Numb is good.
I drag myself from my bed, throw my bathrobe over myshoulders, stumble into the bathroom, pour bath water as hot asI can stand it, plunk myself into the tub to ease out some of the painful stiffness. I swear, some days, that rigor mortis issetting in a little prematurely. I wash my hair, pull the plug, patmyself dry, twist my hair into a towel around my head. I don’t bother looking into the mirror. I know what’s there. And whatisn’t.I flip the kitchen light on, rinse a pot and pour in sometap water and salt, turn a burner on to maximum. No lunchesmade last night, I see. I must have forgotten again. Andheaven forbid that the kids should actually do anything of their own accord, at least not without being told a dozen times. So Idefrost a couple slices of bologna, smear mustard andmayonnaise onto four slices of bread, slap on the half-cooked bologna, some lettuce, slice them into two, wrap in plastic,stumble to the stove, pour rolled oats into the boiling water,turn down the burner. It boils over anyway.Then I wake up the kids. They growl at me, pull thecovers up over their heads, tell me to go away and turn off thelight.
 I can’t 
, I say.
 It’s not my fault you have to get up in themorning and go to school. It’s only my fault you were bornand it’s too late to have an abortion.
But they are never amused at six-forty-five a.m.Somehow the porridge gets eaten, the lunches get packed,mismatched socks get put on, coats get found, notes get signed,money gets handed out to avoid an argument, the door getsslammed, homework gets left behind, but at least they’re goneand I topple back into bed.I read for a bit until the words mutate into black bugscrawling over the pages. Drowsiness overcomes me like asheet of lead. I will pull my pillows down, wrap myself in the blankets. I will close my eyes and watch the insides of myeyelids until the tunnels appear and then I will float into thetunnels. My body will begin descending, sinking, and then will plummet sharply till I hit bottom. The bottom is a wonderful
 place to be, confusing sometimes, but now that I have begun tounderstand and master these episodes, I can usually controlwhere I go, how it feels and when I wake. These are my onlymoments of reprieve.But I don’t have time to consider what will happen thistime. Instead, I find I am beginning to arouse, ascending fromsleep, up from the bottom, back into my body, into fullawareness. I don’t want to move. Complete relaxation hasstilled every cell and I glance groggily at the clock. It has only been fifteen minutes, maybe less. As I lie here tangled in my blankets, my mind replays the last vivid fifteen minutes,though it seemed like hours, days even.First I watched my eyelids, perhaps only for a fewseconds this time. Thoughts meandered through my mind but Iswept them away, like dust. Poof. Within only a few minutes,I felt the thud of my consciousness hit bottom and knew I wasasleep. I opened my eyes, as I usually do, and watched the restof my body lying there, so still you’d think it was dead. Myconscious mind was detached from my limbs and trunk and thesensation of nothingness was ethereal compared to the acheand intense drowsiness only moments before. I tried to remainin this state, but my auditory senses were playing tricks on meagain. This time I heard the cats, not meowing, not purring, but screeching right inside my ears. I tried to lift my arms tocalm them, tried to speak to them, but my body was paralyzed.I couldn’t move, no matter how hard I willed myself to move,turn over, wake from the hallucination. Then I remembered Iwas only asleep. The cats were outside. I had closed the door.I was asleep. There were no cats. No screeching. Nobody butme and my breath.Then there were the tunnels again, twisting, spinning, likethe tunnels you read about in near-death experiences, and I wascruising down the center of a spiral at the speed of light, maybefaster. The sensation was hypnotizing. I tried to propel myself to the end this time, but suddenly there was my daughter, at thedoor, asking for some ice cream, and the television was on, blaring the Flinstones’ theme song. But so loudly. I was

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