Three years ago, I was sitting at the bar of my old midtown restaurant eating family meal. For those unfamiliar, “family meal” is what the restaurant feeds the staff. It can range from delicious to foul. The midtown restaurant often serves what I’ve termed scary chicken. It’s all the parts of the bird that are only identifiable to med students. I once found a beak in mine.
I felt a little funny afterwards, but such is the way of scary chicken. I was cut early from my shift and trudged home to watch a little TV with Gigi and the Siberian Fox. As I lay on the couch, lamenting my poor tips and dearth of customers, I felt an internal shift. Stopping midsentence, I bolted to the bathroom, barely escaping my own personal sequel of The Exorcist.
The next seven hours were sheer torture. Naturally, I assumed that the scary chicken had had a hand in my demise. I was fairly certain I had the Bubonic Plague. I could hear my sweet chariot swinging low.
My roommates were so supportive. They bought me popsicles and clucked over me. Their compassion was to be their undoing.
Within a week Gigi, the Siberian Fox, and Mr. Gigi (her then boyfriend, now husband) were all struck down by the worst stomach bug any of us have ever encountered. By the following Sunday, we were draped all around the apartment, drained of the will to live.
Inexplicably, two weeks later, I got the bug again. This time, my roommates stayed away. Popsicles were still purchased, but they were laid on the ground and slid across the room.