Upon arrival home from our most recent trip, I had to seek out medical attention for a number of maladies. For one, I had difficulty breathing deeply. Secondly, it seemed as though a flock of microscopic geese with sharp acid coated wings had taken up a migratory route that included most of my upper body. In the last 4 weeks, I have been diagnosed with Pneumonia, Pleurisy, an ear infection, and a strange digestive disorder that leaves me contorting across the couch, eating no fewer than 5 Activia yogurts per day. Unfortunately, spokeswoman Jamie Lee Curtis is never far enough from the forefront of my mind, and their jingle seems to loop in my head perpetually.
My kitchen table looks like a meth lab crime scene, with an impressive assortment of pill bottles, syrups, antidotes, inhalers, and nasal sprays. My newest ailment? I cannot hear out of my right ear, and I have no idea why. At this point, the newer maladies become mere footnotes and nuisances. Since I cannot exercise due to these poor damaged lungs, I am resigned to 2 or 3 walks around the block per day as a feasible and manageable workout regimen. Such a decline in my active lifestyle paired with little to no retreat in my customary Herve Mons Pave du Nord (cheese) consumption, means that the weight will come. Thank god I am engaged. Sorry Kristin. At least, I have yet to lose my mind, not entirely anyways.
So how did this streak of illness come about? I have numerous theories on the matter, as I should, seeing that an entire month has lapsed for me to ruminate on the subject. While scanning my Cairo photographs, I came across one of a bird standing on a sand dune. Immediately, the moment replayed in my mind, as if on vintage Super 8. Our guide, Essam, to me, "Oh...you should not have photographed that bird, Egyptians find them to be incredibly bad luck." I remember thinking about deleting the picture right then and there, but thought about how ridiculous that seemed, and moved on. That night, I contracted some sort of food poisoning after dining at Laredo Tex Mex, a pathetic themed Cairo eatery. A friend of mine told me that American Indians used to believe that each time they were photographed, it took a piece of their soul away. Perhaps, he theorized, that I now carried the tortured soul of this bird I photographed around with me.
Do I believe this bird has something to do with my illness(es)? No, but it is worth noting that I hastily deleted every picture of this bird from my SD memory, notebook, desktop, external hard drive, online picasa gallery, and online flickr gallery. Just in case, I told myself, just in case.