How I (probably) got TB, and other paranoid delusions

As Hil mentioned earlier today, Mondays are a drowsy sort of day, especially after spending all weekend on a holiday high fed by oeos covered in chocolate and the sheer excitement and overwhelming “awwwwwwww” feeling you get from watching Love Actually. So, to keep up the energy required to get through the day (until I can go home and eat more chocolate covered oreos) I had a large tea this morning. Now we all know how caffeine can do terrible things to me. Today, rather than having the full-body tremor (though I do have slightly shaky hands, I won’t lie to you) I’m suffering from mild paranoia. I don’t mind so much I guess, variety is the spice of life after all. Here’s what I’m paranoid about today:

1. Dead mice in my walls.

A few weeks ago I discovered that I have mice living in my apartment with me. So you know, now there’s vermin along with deathly terrifying giant arachnids. I could hear the mice running in my ceiling, which is inconveniently very low over my bed and I was kept up for an hour trying to sort out if there was any way the mouse could jump out the vent and into my bed. In the end I fell back asleep and woke with no mice in my bed so I considered it a small victory. My dad laid a trap for me and we caught a mouse. I haven’t seen or heard any since, but everyone keeps telling me that there’s never just one mouse, and since I haven’t seen any sign of him (no poop, no mouse) in my apartment, everyone is now reasoning that the poop and the mice must just be in my walls. But since I can’t hear scurrying anymore, there must be poop and dead mice in my walls. GREAT. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen a demon arachnid in a while either. So they must just be lying dead in my walls too. I live in a house of horrors.

2. Looking totally unhinged.

Halfway through the morning it hit me. Holy hell, what if I didn’t put mascara on both eyes this morning? And what if I’ve just been looking, very unintentionally, very Clockwork Orange-like all day? It could happen to anybody on a drowsy Monday!

(Don’t worry, I checked, and both eyes are sufficiently mascara-ed.)

3. That I will now die a slow death due to tuberculosis.

I enjoy my personal space. I consider it a right, not a luxury. Today when I was crossing the street at lunch, however, I was completely hedged in by a group of people, a family behind (mom, dad, small toddler-type person) and a sort of short, leary, scruffy man to my right. At first I was just annoyed that this collection of people were standing really close to me and then I started to get a bit paranoid that perhaps they’re all muggers, working together, and have brought along a small child to cast off suspicion and lure me into a false sense of calm. And then the woman directly behind me coughed a horrifying cough from the very depths of her likely TB ridden lungs all over the back of my coat. And then I realized that they’re not a gang of muggers but a gang intent on killing me, albeit slowly, by intentionally giving me a deadly airborne virus. So now I will probably end up coughing myself to death, and whimpering “I’ve got the black lung, Pa!” to myself. Because black lung and TB are absolutely the same thing. I’ll probably have to go live in a mine with a canary.

~ Julia

p.s. My doctor told me that under no circumstances am I ever to have caffeine. I obviously ignored him, though I’m beginning to see things from his perspective.

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