Sometime around 9 o’clock last night, a sorcerer cast a spell on me separating me from my spirit animal and causing intense ramifications in my physical body. Without the gentle but clumsy aura of the giant anteater mellowing out the harsh edges of my own “amethyst” being, I was consumed by what felt like the hottest fever I have ever had.
I was out with some friends doing the same old thing in a place I had never been before, the Hussein area of Cairo, close to Al-Azhar University, that same old thing being smoking sheesha. The Hussein area reminded me a lot of Morocco in that it was the typical winding narrow alleys filled with vendors selling all kinds of things that instantly become dust collectors. We were heading for Feshawi’s, an apparently well known place that makes it into all the Lonely Planet guidebooks. After asking about 8 people where it was, we wound our way there and I suddenly found myself in a crowded café filled with patrons, soft gold light diffused by intense clouds of smoke, and people passing through selling everything from necklaces, to henna, to music, to tissues, to hookas, etc. Someone was playing the oud in the background and people were clapping along with the music.
We sat for a while, and at some point in the night a man who seemed normal but was actually a sorcerer came by and showed us an electronic candle that lit up if you blew on it or tapped it. None of us were interested, so he left. But after he did so, I began to feel hot; I thought it might have just been the cramped quarters and the fact I was almost sitting on the stranger in the booth next to me as well as inhaling death, but when I started to get chills as well I knew that something was not quite right. We left a little while later as my health continued to deteriorate, a combination of the sheesha, the separation from my spirit animal, and having only eaten bread and chocolate all day.
Things really took a turn for the worse once we made it into the metro station. We boarded the packed, sauna-like metro car, and began an eternal wait for it to take off. Though I didn’t want to alarm my friends on account of the sickness ravaging my body, it seemed likely I was about to faint, so I was forced to say something. “I do not feel in a good way” I heard myself sputter in Arabic as my hearing began to go faint and my surroundings lost the appearance of reality. The gibberish I spouted obviously concerned them and they ushered me out of the metro car and I sat on a bench for a second in order to try gain a further grasp on consciousness. A few minutes later, the car was about to go, so we quickly boarded once again and as we sped along underground, I leaned against the door and stared at a spot on the ground trying with all my might not to pass out. One possible benefit of my near incapacitation is that I was only vaguely aware of the usual metro staring.
Finally, we arrived at the Dokki metro station and I thanked the sweet Lord that I wasn’t going to end up in a hospital that night. My condition had stabilized by that time and I was able to walk and even make light of the whole situation a little bit as they accompanied me to my building. As I headed upstairs, I wondered what in the world had happened. On the way to my apartment I also had the pleasure of seeing a dog with a dead cat in its mouth.
I took what I thought was ibuprofen and tried to sleep. I lay there for about an hour, a fever consuming my body and strange thoughts pervading my mind, thoughts about wizards and last prayers. Finally I decided I needed to take more painkillers since my headache was threatening to cause blood to spurt out my ears. At this point, I came to the unfortunate realization that I hadn’t taken ibuprofen at all…I had taken anti-diarrheal medication. Alas, the red fog in my mind prohibited me from realized the small blue pills were not at all what ibuprofen looks like. AHHH. I then took real medicine and slept fitfully and sweatily. I woke up at about 6 and vomited up 5 cups of water, just like clockwork after drinking them. Needless to say, I didn’t go to school at all today. Instead, I lay around the house like a harem-dweller and watched the Naked Gun 3, which was hilarious, and an Australian cooking show. Being sick is great for watching television, definitely a benefit. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow; I look forward to lots of pity. We shall see. If I don’t feel better, there will be more movie watching.
Moral of the story: keep your gem guards on you at all time lest a wayward spell penetrate your aural defenses.