Ragdale Journal: Day…

Ragdale Journal: Day Four

I am sick. If I�m remembering right, I got sick last time I came here too, which is sort of funny, given how alone you are most of the time here. But somehow sickness comes from somewhere anyway. You do shake hands a lot, meeting other artists, staff, etc. And it�s just a cold, but after Roshani left last night (I gave her a tour, we went to dinner, walked on the beach briefly, came back and sketched for a while), I tried to go back to work, but my head was congested and I couldn�t think. It was almost 9, so I went to bed, fell asleep watching a show, woke up again freezing because the AC was on so high (in theory we can control the thermostats in our room, but that doesn�t seem to do much). Stumbled out of bed, pulled on sweatpants and a sweater, stumbled back in, wrote a pitiful note to Kevin about how my nose was still icy cold, started reading Eggers� _Heartbreaking Work_, which yes, I know, everyone else read years ago, but I am only now getting around to it. Got through the introductory material and went to sleep. Woke up at some point, too hot, pulled off all the extra clothes, went back to sleep.

And yes, for a while there, I was feeling sorry for myself and thinking that I could just go home, just drive back forty-five minutes to my more pleasantly temperate house, or, if the problem were with me and not the house, that I could at least curl up next to Kevin and meep piteously at him until he brought me tea and a hot water bottle. But it was too late and too dark for me to try driving sick, and I only had two more days to go, so I was going to stick it out. It feels so particularly wasteful, being sick when you�re at a place like this. I mean, I just get enraged when I wake up with a fuzzy head and can�t seem to concentrate, so I read some more and wonder what I�m doing here and bemoan the unfairness of being sick when I have so little time here.

But then, at around eight-thirty or so, some ideas I�d had finally coalesced and I sat down and wrote a 2500-word short story that is not bad, I think. I sent it to some people for comment; we�ll see what they say. So it was worth staying last night. And I haven�t been able to settle back to writing since, but I read some more, and had lunch, and drank tea, and read some more, and now I am at least sitting out on the screened in porch, watching the pouring rain that thankfully is coming straight down, so I can stay out here. The air is cool and rich with moisture. I could use some cold medicine that I don�t have, but I think I can work a bit regardless, so I�m going to try because tomorrow is my last day, tomorrow at eleven a.m. I check out of my room, and even though I will probably hang around and work in one of the main spaces for a few more hours, my time here is almost done, so I had best make some use of it if I possibly can. I can dose myself with cold medicine and soup and jello tomorrow.

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