Dry-cured sliced thin and uncooked

It dawned on me, during my hellish, dazed stupor lasting the duration of my morning and continuing on through my train ride(s) and walk to school, and still persisting, that sitting at my desk typing is probably the closest I can get to sleep without actually sitting here with my eyes closed or just staring off into the distance, the lines of pages of backwards-tucked books in front of me, a window into what walls must feel like, my scenery someone’s document shelf. I have caught something, which is to say that something’s caught me, and it toys with me as though I’m its furnace, raising and lowering my temperature (and with it, my temperance), scrambling my brains, left at its mercy. I try to resist its steely desires to have me cough, lest my cover be blown–of course gentle co-workers and citizens I only seem ill, and I don’t need to wear the ubiquitous guilt mask, mighty trapper of germs, testament to your own horrible neglect in hygiene since you are now Sick and it is All Your Fault.

Because of the arcane logic applied to health matters in the workplace, the scenario is presented thusly: if you are sick enough to stay home, you are sick enough to go to the hospital, which you must do in order to get a doctor’s note as proof of your absence, if you wish to claim sick leave instead of taking one of your paid days off. Perhaps because of, rather than in spite of this faulty reasoning, I have determined that if I am “sick” enough to be forced to get out of bed and leave my apartment and go to the hospital instead of recuperate, I am most certainly sick enough to just go to work. Which I have been since Monday!

I’d feel almost a little bad if it wasn’t a near lock that I got it from one of them to begin with, they undoubtedly having considered their situations the same way that I have and deciding to come to work anyway, damn the torpedoes. It’s like a Dilbert comic with one more level of obfuscation basically, and for all of the lily-scented procedures and precautions, welcome to Flu Town, Population Everyone.

The homefront consequences of this illness’s onset cut a wide swath: I have essentially been wearing the same dress shirt under my sweaters for the last handful of days, evening meals are quick and uninspired (boil pasta and add sauce/sauce packet), the dishes accumulate both in/around the sink and in other areas of the house, and the organization level of the place has reached critical lows. Any further and we will have achieved unenviable Pauly Shore territory, desecrating our foreign palace to the point of a homeostatic imbalance, ruining the carefully planned experiments of the Bio-Dome scientists.

The bright, shiny spot at the end of this raw flesh-ribbons throat-tunnel is the impending release of the video game I’ve only mentioned like twenty times on this website, Final Fantasy XIII, in the form of an oh-so-desirable limited edition system+game bundle that, assuming we correctly filled out the mystical hieroglyphics, will be ours tomorrow (or most specifically Jessy’s, as she is the one who will be picking it up from the Circle K, where it is totally normal to buy video game systems). After that we approach autopilot mode as the finishing line rush towards winter break begins with workdays devoid of classes, a December 23rd national holiday, and the last hurrah: the Christmas Eve lesson–my last work day until January 6th–during which I will become Brandon Santa despite resembling the well known Mr. Claus in mannerism only (I love milk and cookies, but might hesitate to drink it warm from random mantles), and distribute Christmas cards and presents to blind and visually impaired children via a sort of pseudo lottery. If it sounds bizarre, well, that’s cause it basically is, and I think if I could go back in time and tell myself one thing, and for some reason I chose this, that one day I’d dress as Santa Claus in Japan to give out presents to small school children, old me would probably beat the hell out of future me and then loot the body for cash.

Curious Japanese Shit of the Week Not Related to Work:
– Increasingly frequent post-card sized flyers arriving unsolicited in our mailbox and covered with full-nudity images of women, amounts of time, lewd katakana phrases, and prices
– Attempting to buy soothing throat lozenges but somehow getting rose petal “collagen troches” which assist in the maintaining of supple, hydrated skin and do not soothe the throat in any way
– Finding a UFO catcher crane machine in which you can push a small token into the hole and win your selection of one of the live caged hamsters which scurry about inside the cabinet, leering at your claw anxiously all bug-eyed
– Saizeriya, being an ass-whippingly awesome value-oriented Japanese Italian restaurant with dozens of menu items including but not limited to “meat sauce doria” (yellow rice baked with cheese and meat sauce), a tiny cupcake-tin-looking ceramic plate containing six delicious garlic butter escargot, a “hamburg” plate (consisting of a hamburger patty with an egg on it, corn, three french fries, and steak sauce), and a chicken-flavored risotto that tastes more like Rice-a-Roni than anything I’ve eaten since getting here
– A TV show during which two idiots stay at Saizeriya for multiple days and attempt to eat all one-hundred items and item variations on the menu sequentially while being taunted by youth through the storefront window, without leaving and pausing only to sleep on the floor (highlight: generously-sized guest eater showing up and devouring both the prosciutto and double-sized prosciutto plates in single hammy bites)

I bought a little cake made with sake and a peculiar bean-paste stuffed pancake kinda sandwich from some of the marketing students today. I think they experienced a certain kind of joy in taking all the money from their English teacher, who is now powerless to buy cakes from anyone else on his walk home.

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