The Washington Post

Ill Communication

A virus ripped through our family late last week and caused “Exorcist”-like vomit followed by catatonic whimpering. After my visit with Mr. Creosote — the barf machine from “Monty Python” … anybody? — I was supine for most of the day, slipping in and out of various levels of consciousness. It was awesome.

I could do without the spew, but the enervating effects of illness caused me to engage my surroundings in different ways. I was sensitive to light and touch, and every beam of sunshine or tactile interaction felt like an event. When not sleeping, I watched particles dance in the air, feeling forever suspended in the blue hour, when it’s neither dark nor light.

But the best part was how everything sounded: distant, hollow, ghostly.

I sometimes toy with how I listen to music by having the volume so low it competes with everyday sounds, but this was better because the prepared environment was deep in my brain. In fact, I didn’t listen to much music while flat on my back. The sounds of the universe were just enough.

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