A Few Things to Do When You Have a Stomach Virus

– Begin watching Orange Is The New Black – even though you feel like a tiny, invisible demon is stabbing your abdomen with a tiny, invisible knife over and over again – not because you heard it was good but because you are deeply competitive and see that your roommates have already watched ten episodes while you were on vacation. Then, of course, realize that it’s really good and watch all 13 episodes in a little over 24 hours.

– Lay on the couch all day, sweating, with a fan set on the highest possible level blowing almost but not quite directly on you. Do not wear pants.

– Spend so much time in your closet of a bathroom that you begin to think of it as more than a bathroom. The bathroom is your friend. Your friend who you tolerate in spite of his many flaws – he is at least 20 degrees hotter than the rest of your apartment, he doesn’t have enough floor space for you to dramatically writhe in pain, his window overlooks someone’s little backyard that you wish was yours – because you really, really need him for his toilet.

– Google all of your symptoms. Diagnose yourself with gastroenteritis.

– Drink a lot of water even though you’ve become convinced that it’s poisoning your body.

– Strap an athletic ice pack to your head.

– Google all of your symptoms again. Decide that you’re experiencing the early stages of sepsis and check your body for some type of rash that you’re supposed to get that you are pretty sure signals the early stages of death.

– Mentally write a will but stop yourself before you write it out for real.

– Watch the second half of the first season of New Girl and ask yourself the following questions: How did this show actually pull off a great second season? Am I really sexually attracted to Schmidt? What if I die at the exact moment when Zooey Deschanel sings “It’s Jess!” in the opening?

– Take like seven naps a day because you get tired every time you sit up for more than ten minutes.

– If you are feeling sort of OK, put on a sports bra and some gym clothes so you look normal (like you’re going to the gym) and walk two blocks to the grocery store. Buy the essentials of the BART diet (bananas, applesauce, rice and bread (for toast)) and as much Gatorade as you can carry because you forgot that it’s not actually that great for you when you’ve lost a lot of fluids.

– Discover that Lemonade Gatorade might have unseated Blue Frost as your favorite flavor.

– Read an entire book in a day. (I read The Middlesteins, but you might like to read something else.)

– Watch The Hunger Games for the first time since you saw it, drunk, the night it came out. Realize you remember a lot less about the movie than you thought.

– Read this amazing New Yorker piece on wily British egg collectors.

– Think a lot about the mysterious pain in your elbow. Is it tennis elbow? Is it a blood clot? Is it the pain in your joints you may feel before you die of sepsis? Google it but don’t self-diagnose because you’ve been taking your pulse and your temperature every hour for two days and you’re FINE.

– Watch The Fall on Netflix. Gillian Anderson with a British accent is the only kind of Gillian Anderson you need these days. (Briefly consider watching Bleak House (2005) for the ninth time but don’t because that would be a bit much.)

– Fall asleep every night hoping you’ll feel better the next day. And then, little by little, start to feel better. Also, come to the conclusion that you are not dying of sepsis as you didn’t really have any of the symptoms.

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