I did not get very much sleep; I was tossing and turning, waking up every 20 minutes with chills, sweats, and some green mucus- I didn't know humans could produce- coming from the back of my throat. After Shabbos we took my temperature and I was running 101.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
To be dreadfully sick on Shabbos is one of the worst experiences I hope you never have to go through; It is much like being stuck on island. Not one of the tropical islands somewhere in the Bahamas where you sit around sunbathing on the beach, as hospitable monkeys bring you pina coladas with miniature umbrellas. On "Sick on Shabbos Island" you sit around the bathroom floor trying to figure out if the pain is decreased with your eyes closed, opened, or one shut one open. Being stuck on "Sick on Shabbos Island" is realizing you will be doing this eyes shut-open experiment for the next 25 hrs as your only form of entertainment.
With all the lack of activity, I effectively convinced my virus that it was torturing a dead person, it let up for a few hours, and I took this as my chance to go downstairs where my family and the guests were sitting down for Shabbos lunch. As I ventured downstairs, I said hello to my parents friends. I must have looked like a neanderthal gazing at the sun for the first time.
I sat at a distance in an adjoining room drawn by the conversation. There were discussions about the recent snow storms and frozen pipes, vitamin D deficiencies, and new cars. The conversation I was most interested in, was the conversation happening at the far end of the table, between my brother and a friend he begun to lose touch with. They had been through elementary school, playdates, middle school, carpools, birthday parties, and high school together. Gradually people change. Some become jaded, bitter, and even hardened by Judaisim, and those who thought they knew the other so well feel unprepared and awkward.
Over my father's tall frame, I could see my brother and his friend smiling and laughing- something about The Hobbit. Like a fool, I got goosebumps all over. It just goes to show people who are paranoid to leave the "Jewish bubble," that its not a person's belief and acceptance of G-d that determines friendship- its orcs and elves and dwarfs. I'm proud of my brother. He deserves more credit than I give him.
My mother is going to a meeting tonight of women in the neighborhood who are trying to set up the unmarried Jewish singles. She is thinking about "presenting my brother" to the other women (whatever that means). The way she was describing it, reminded me of an auction. I don't really want to go into my thoughts on the shidduch world at the moment, I just wanted to open the notion. Now I will close the notion.
All in all, despite having half my foot in the grave, Shabbos was not too crumby. There is something to be said about the medicinal powers of a Jewish mother's chicken soup. Looking forward to a good week,
exactly 368 tiles on my bathroom floor