concerning illness & the quarter-life crisis

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Sometimes, I think I’m sick when I’m not really sick. This strange phenomenon was passed down to me by my wonderful father, who has, in the course of the last 20 years had every ailment from esophageal cancer to bird flu. Luckily, none of these ailments have ever proved fatal, and somehow (miraculously) my father is still alive.

When I was young and full of hope, my parents rented the movie Outbreak, and as a result, I developed a fear of monkeys and contracted the ebola virus. My father once drank his bodyweight in fruit punch on a hot summer’s day after skipping breakfast and lunch. Needless to say, after saying his farewells to my mom and declaring that “this was the big one” he realized that he was suffering from high blood sugar, not a heart attack.
For my father and I, the illness may start from one of two ways: either a friend is ill and we then think we’re ill, or there is an outbreak of some disease in any part of the world (usually a developing country) and we think we’ve got it. The symptoms of the illness aren’t important because we have the rare ability to adopt any number of strange or ordinary conditions. Dry eyes? = rheumatoid arthritis or any other type of autoimmune disease. Throat swollen or closing up? = anaphylactic shock (translation: anxiety caused by a crowded room, a small elevator, or clothing that hugs the neck and throat area). Numbness? = depends on where, but it’s always bad…could be a slipped disk, a stroke, the beginning of a heart attack, etc. = death is inevitable. Random shooting pains? These plague us all the time; I have them in my head (translation: aneurysm) and my father has them everywhere else (translation: ready for the box). Stiffness doesn’t bother us much because we’re always stiff, and my father seems to be fine with the idea that eventually all of his bones will just fuse together and he won’t be able to move at all. Lump? This is very bad, especially if it doesn’t hurt = cancer (translation: usually a bug bite, ingrown hair, zit, etc.). Solution? Take a z-pac (concentrated dose of antibiotics). It doesn’t matter if we have cancer, flu, a rare disease, or numbness; no matter what we have, a z-pac will knock it out (translation: it will knock the absurd notion out of our heads that we are sick to begin with). We have had many miraculous recoveries thanks to the z-pac, and we have also had many miraculous recoveries as a result of forgetting our illness.  The other option is drinking a bottle of wine. That seems to work almost as well as the z-pac, and even better when the two remedies are combined.
Of course, now that I’m passed my quarter-life crisis period, I have grown an immunity to most life-threatening diseases and rarely become ill (translation: I graduated from college and realized, “Oh my god, I have no idea what to do with my life, and I have a useless degree…what was I thinking when I was at school?”  Umm, I wasn’t…I was having the time of my life and taking courses based on what time of day they were taught, and now I’m working as a server at a dive restaurant and every time that song “glory days” comes on, I finally understand what all those drunk old people are talking about. Solution? Flee to Hawaii where everyone is semi-retired and only work so they have enough cash for beer and sunscreen…mahalo.