EPISODE ONE: PILOT
I was once told my life could be a sitcom. My bad luck never ceases to amaze me. On a micro level: my shoes untie when I run, my tire pops on the freeway, I submit my homework to the wrong class. The list goes on with anecdotes that at the end of the day don’t really matter, but make for sitcom gold. So let me write a few episodes for you.
My best friend and I just got back from the trip of our lives: one week in Namibia, one of the most desolate countries on earth, located in southwest Africa. We barreled through the entire country in a truck and camped in the desert. When we touched back down in Cape Town South Africa, where I was studying abroad, I guess life had to ground me, keep me humble—I started to feel sick. Must be from traveling and adjusting back to my normal routine? Right? Nope. It was unbearable. I couldn’t stop sleeping. Round the clock nauseous, I fully lost my appetite. I went to the hospital where they told me I had African tick fever. Yeah that sucked but they prescribed me antibiotics and I was on my way. When I got to the pharmacy and handed over my prescription, the pharmacist told me it was an illegal script. Should’ve known. It was essentially a scrap of paper with the name of the drug and the doctor’s signature, akin to a forged note dismissing you from high school that your friend with good handwriting wrote. She calls the hospital and they tell her it’s legit—which I don’t know if that’s legal but she kept telling me she felt so bad I had tick fever so maybe she just wanted to help me out. She looks up the recommended antibiotic and it doesn’t exist. In fact, it hadn’t existed in the country for the past 10 years. She’s not even sure if you could find it on the continent of Africa. She spends close to an hour finagling the system, making calls, looking stuff up (sweet, sweet girl—I’ll find her when I go back and buy her a drink). How am I spending this hour? Sitting in the corner in a cold sweat, trying to stay conscious and not throw up. I’m granted four different prescriptions that will hopefully cure me and I leave.
Maybe two days later I start noticing my mouth is swollen, to the point that I can’t eat hard foods. My wisdom teeth start actinnnn up. I hit the dentist. Dentist tells me I should get my wisdom teeth out. I’m thinking hellll nawww, I’m not getting these bad larrys out while I’m abroad. She prescribed me some sort of antibacterial mouthwash (with a legal script) and after about a week they kind of felt better but I still couldn’t really eat solids without putting my front teeth to werk. In the midst of my toothache, I get contacted by Bank of America saying there’s been some sus activity on my account. I go on to check it out: 3,000 bands spent in Namibia, someone stole my credit card info. Classic. I got the money back but still are you kidding? Anyway, I’m well now but I still get a ‘letter of demand’ email like once or twice a week from the Cape Town ER because I never paid the medical bill. I think it’s like $40 but I can’t afford that right now. I’ll drop my Venmo at the bottom in case anyone wants to contribute—anything helps.
EPISODE TWO: DUE DILIGENCE
Health & Wellness hits my line, lets me know I have the covid. That’s fine, everyone I know has it or had it. I wait it out for 10 days: getting 500 steps a day, shuffling back and forth between my bed, the fridge, and the couch; a vicious cycle, like any good quarantine. I get out on a Thursday. My first night back in the game: carry the one, it’s gonna be a fun night. I can’t let people down, I gotta go hard, drop enough heat at the bar to make up for any time missed. Honestly just tryna help the economy ya know? I do my diligence, put in my time and somehow make it home from the bar to continue the fun. Again, and I cannot stress this enough, I am only doing this because I can’t let my peers down. Three a.m. rolls around and I’m still vibing, mind you I’ve been penting this energy up for 10 whole days so yeah I’m amped, I’m workin, I could punch a wall. So I do. Surprise shawtayy! Knuckle hits the beam and my hand goes limp. So I throw some ice on that thang (frozen veggies, not a Rolex) and now it’s 4:30 a.m. and I’m like okay I can’t move it and it’s pretty swollen. Close my eyes and wake up to experience a morning sent from satan himself. I have an exam, an Italian exam (tha gabagool). Took the exam with my left hand and 1/3 mind capacity—passed it. My friends drive me to urgent care (thanks guys). I walk in looking like I got hit by a U-Haul, probably smelling like low tide (wouldn’t know though, lost my smell from covid). I tell nurses Linda and Christie what happened and Linda starts running her mouth. “Isn’t that something boys usually do?” Like first of all Linda—what’re you, a misogynist? It’s 2021, women punch walls too. And second: check your vibe. Leave your sass at the sliding door...the audacity on her. Whatever. They put me in a cast and sent me on my way. Been sporting that thing for the past month.
EPISODE THREE: I’VE GOT THE POWER
So I’m on a walk, right. It’s like a six mile walk so I’m three miles out and my phone screen just stops working, shits the bed. I give it a few minutes and still nothing so I try to restart/power it off with the side buttons but I can’t slide the screen to fully turn it off. So I hit the volume button and the power button and hold it down—if you do this and hold it down long enough it calls 911. I was not aware of this at the time so I did indeed call 911 and couldn’t hang up because I couldn’t touch the screen.
Side note: no one picked up. Like how the hell does no one pick up when you call 911? They literally have one job. Their sole duty is to answer phones. It’s just fitting that I called 911 and no one picked up. ANYWAY.
The call ends and I’m just walking on the outskirts of Durham wondering if the police take missed calls seriously. Mind you I can’t change the song because of the screen (or even pause it) and it’s shuffling all my music. What song comes on? “I’ve Got the Power.” I use Siri to call my friend who proceeds to call the police station and tell them not to look for me, not that it mattered in the end because I was never even on their radar. Phone has since been fixed, but my life is still a joke.