I woke up early this morning. I could feel that my fever was back up. I thought about sitting up to take some Tylenol, but I knew this would aggravate the flaming girdle of cough-strained muscle that has been my torso for the past forty-eight hours. And I thought, why not let the fever do its noble and intended work of burning off the sickness? So I lay perfectly still, trying not to swallow or breathe in a way that would provoke the knife shards in my throat to further lacerating activity, and imagined the fever sweeping through my body in a cleansing, scouring fury.
Some time later I rose triumphant from my bed, feeling rested and restored and that my decision had been amply justified. Then I realized that, in addition to feeling stronger and faster than I had in some time, I was also apparently now a man. And that I may have inadvertently confused the healing fire of a fever with a radioactive spider bite. And that I wasn't, perhaps, upon further reflection, awake at all.
My husband came in to check on me. I asked him if I could shoot webs now. He said probably not. I asked him to check if my toes were steaming.
He made me take some Tylenol.