Thursday, April 10, 2008

A tough time to wed (Pt. 6)

We were on our way to the land of married respectability in the week before the wedding. Everything was arranged and we were set to travel. Our suite at the Monte Carlo was reserved, plans for entertainment firmed up and our flight was reserved. One last thing before we left was a late lunch the day before our departure.

We chose Indian. We'll call the restaurant "Bombay Barf," as its choice would turn out to be a bad one for me.

Marcie enjoyed a curry dish while I had chicken tandoori. Unfortunately, I took a big bite of the chicken before I realized that it was lmost wholly uncooked in its center. If you have ever had frozen chicken that is tossed into the oven unthawed, then you know the sensation. I tasted cooked goodness then squishy, almost gelatinous inner meat.

I spit it out and sent it back. I was served, some 15 minutes later, a fully cooked tandoori by a scowling and curt subcontinental who seemed to think I was putting him out by demanding properly prepared food. Never mind. I left it on the plate and Marcie accepted that.

The damage had been done.

In the morning, I woke feeling slightly woozy and a little tired. I also had an urgent need. I ended up spending a painful half hour  there. I will spare you the details. Nausea was not alone in keeping me company, though. I wanted to stay a bit longer, but was informed that might lead to some worse pain.

"Honey, I am sorry you feel so sick, but you'll feel better when it's all over with and we're married," Marcie said through the door.

"Great!" I thought. She believes I am faking illness or suffering from nerves.

As if to test me, Marcie proceeded to cook a hearty, massive breakfast for us, the last thing I wanted at that point. I poked at my eggs, ate my toast and drank my orange juice, and tried to avoid looking at the bacon, whose usual greasy, salty goodness was vaguely, nauseatingly repellent to me. She noticed.

"Frank," she said, clattering her fork. "Would you eat your goddamn food? I swear, you are being such a baby. This is what you wanted, too, right? Or were you just trying to appease me? No, tell me so I don't get my hopes up and end up left at the altar, because I swear that will be the end for us."

I looked up at her and I croaked, "Honey, I am just sick. I think the chicken did it. I don't want to cancel our wedding, I just don't feel well. I'll be fine, though."

"Yeah, the chicken did it," she said, narrowing her eyes and tapping her fork angrily on the plate. "You only had one bite of that fucking chicken, I watched you, so don't tell me you were poisoned from that little bit

But my temperature climbed, reaching 102 that afternoon as I finished packing. I tried a cool shower, adding a good half hour to my considerable time in the facilities for the day. No dice. Later, I even had to invade and take over the kennel's bathroom when we dropped Seamus off, and spent a good 15 minutes there. Things were getting worse.

"Stop it," Marcie said under her breath, her ferocious glare and tight lips showing her at the end of her rope with me. "You need to buck up and be my man, not wimp out and play sick. And if you are sick, you need to try to get it under control."

So it went. Eventually, she realized this was not playing sick. But by that time, we were in the air. She was pleased to be on the way and overwhelmed with giddiness, and that change in her attitude opened her eyes. Maybe I was sick, after all.

As she looked over at me on the plane, she leaned in and whispered, "Oh, honey, you are sweating so much," she said. "Are you okay?"

I squeezed her hand and was more relieved that she realized I was not faking my illness than concerned with telling her I was sick again.

"I'll be okay, honey," I whispered. "I think the sweat is because my body is fighting it off."

The second we were in the terminal, I went into the bathroom. I took time to, after my more urgent need, wash my face and make myself presentable. I was very pale and remained so for the whole trip, as the wedding video shows. But when I came out, she took my hand and squeezed it, kissed me and leaned into my chest, and I knew she understood how sick I was.

We had a wonderful night despite my illness, and gambled a bit to boot. We came out $200 ahead, but I demurred on visiting the steak house we had planned to. She understood. But my illness would interfere with other activities, which her little notes remind me of. Those, I will post tomorrow.