i found myself smiling in bed. beads of sweat dripping down my forehead and an exhaustion traveling in my veins. my body small, heavy, sunken into the mattress pad. i found myself smiling at the feeling of being all-consumed by the fever. i could not move my body, i could only wait till the fever broke. there was nothing more i could do, there was nothing more i could be expected to do. the blinds were shut but i could tell that the sun was near-setting. the reddish glow, almost like someone had put a wash cloth on top of a lamp: scattered, dim, warm. i had been in and out of sleep all day. i stayed in bed through breakfast, through lunch, through dinner. i was not hungry: i swallowed my painkillers and sipped on water. i was allowed to do this. i was allowed to skip meals, lay in bed, stare at the walls. i was allowed to let loud noises bother me, cry if i felt uncomfortable, i was allowed to sink into the mattress pad without a moment of guilt. my laptop lay on the table infront of me: there was a world of work out there but for now, i didn't have to be a part of it. i clung to these moments of in-between like a breath of fresh oxygen. i pushed all the feelings of unease to the back of my mind and let myself fall. i let myself fall. for now, for here, i could be me with an excuse: i was sick.
you walk around everyday doing what you're supposed to be doing. you're falling apart but you're sending emails. you're mentally fractured but you go to class, you sit through those meetings. you do what needs to be done. you eat a meal, you work out at the gym. you mold yourself into the caricature of your age group, gender, race. you become the person that makes sense to their eyes. it doesn't matter how much is wrong on the inside; but when a fever spreads across your skin and your body is forced to break: you can stop, you can breathe, you can be.