CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Word Count: 1079
Talk about a time you were sick.
The human body is susceptible to physical sickness and injury, just as it is to the waxing and waning of a fine mental state. From unblemished skin to a rising fever, from happiness to sadness, whether we admit it or not, like it or not, we are all open to injury, some, of course, more so than others. Some people like myself, however, are rarely ill and rarely marred by mental change, namely because we have good immune systems and have actually realised that half the mental angst that people get in knots over, is not worth the trouble. Naturally, because I have kept myself in good stead during my life, through a good diet and regular exercise, it comes rarely that I become sick with a virus or some other physical or mental malady. If and when, I rest, briefly at that, take medication, only if needed, and soon I am better again. It could be fair to say that I am never ill, towards the lenience of never really, because becoming sick, suffering through the flu or something similar, such a thing just does not occur to me on a scale of regularity as it does with other people.
While the strength of my immune system is a truth, there are still some times in my life that I have come down with something, and like other periods of time I have experienced, I remember a few of these circumstances in minute detail. I have a comprehensive, photographic memory, so to remember life like this, every groove, nook and cranny, it is not an unusual state of being for me. Just as some can’t recollect their last birthday, or their first puppy, I can visualise and draw information from my own past experiences, using what knowledge I retrieve, to gain advantage or explain away some period in my past that I am prompt being questioned about.
There was a time, some months after my parents died, when we were well into the new year that proceeded onwards after that fateful Christmas period, moving on with life as best we could. It was not yet my birthday, so it was not an entirely late period where the calendar was concerned, but things still changed, as they always did, moving onwards, always onwards. Like an aunt and nephew should when they are forced together by unfortunate circumstances, my aunt and I were growing accustomed to one another and the roles we had to play, because our shared livelihood depended on it. I suppose, to avoid unfortunate circumstances and a separation of selves that threatened us if she became an unfit caregiver, we were both working hard with the rigid determinedness that is prevalent in my family, to make things function correctly. This was not actually the hard part of it, because my aunt is my aunt, and we both loved each other, and had both fully realised the scope of what had been undertaken by forces we had not a large pull on. No, I suppose it was the fact that we moved onwards, striving forward at such a rate so as to continue with life, that saw us fall ill, each within a short time of the other.
Sickness, like true romance, rises quickly once it has a hold of a person’s body, causing previously unimaginable changes in their being, both mental and physical effects. As my temperature rose and my nose sniffled I remember a few translucent days where I simply spent most of it resting with my aunt nearby. Like two people upon the deck of deeply pitching ship, we were rocked about from side to side by the headaches of our illness, the accompanying raised temperatures, the chilled shivering and blocked noses. Eyelids hooded our eyes in the warm depths of our home, we hid beneath blankets and slept a fitful but warranted rest, for we were suffering, physically because we had a bad case of what I presume was the flu, and mentally, slightly mentally, because it hadn’t yet been a year. No twelve months worth of moments yet separated us collectively from the death of my parents, her relatives, one through blood and one through marriage.
Just as quickly as the illness surfaced and wrought itself upon us, it was gone from my aunt and me. Both of relatively the same stock, we recovered quickly and were back at our lives after a few days, steaming ahead as we usually were tempted to do, through inherent natures and an implicit, unquestionable directive to pull ourselves together and make our life together work for both our mutual benefits. I do not question this moment of sickness, now long in the past, covered upon by the years into decades since, but it was one of the first moments were our reliance upon one another was tested.
My aunt had a life beyond the meagre offering of family that was left through the mire and circumstance that brought my living relations down to the very small amount that there was, back at the time shortly before my parents died. She had a job and had carved out her own niche in her own particular step of society. I am aware that she was, from an early age, not one inclined towards ever having a family of significant largeness, seemingly preferring mostly adult company and the friendship of relevant intelligences, wherever she could find them. It was not my intention either, to have my parents die and wind up in her lap, changing her status from single, easily moveable woman, to the single adoptive parent of her orphaned nephew. However, as tragedy begets adaptation of those who are to survive its dark influences, so she changed and I changed, and together, we became a family.
That brief period though, the first time we danced with illness together, not as one relative visiting the sick other relative, but as a family under the same roof, I already knew we would work out our lives with one another, sufficiently so. Moving through those days as we did until we recovered, there was an understanding between us, evident through the simplistic actions and words of people who could not push themselves to do more, that we had already suffered through the biggest hurdle. In the death of my parents and the accompanying tumult and upheaval it caused through our lives, anything after that period, that illness included, was relatively easy.