A new set of sheets, freshly washed, and a new mattress pad, soft and lush from the dryer. When I got into bed last night, the luxury reminded me of the bedding experience one finds in the finest five-star hotels; Ritz-Carlton, Waldorf-Astoria, J.W. Marriott, Four Seasons, and so on. But when I woke around 4:30 this morning, the luxury had transformed into cold, wet discomfort. For the second time in a matter of days, despite the room’s pleasant temperature and an extremely comfortable bed, I woke to find myself—and the sheets beneath me—awash in sweat. My online research suggests the problem might be traceable to one of several causes, among which could be: 1) nightmares; 2) stress; 3) one’s body fighting off infection; 4) anxiety; and 5) a host of other medically-related triggers. I do not remember having had nightmares; not that I would necessarily remember them, had they been the cause. Many of the other prospective reasons could be responsible—so I have been unable to come any closer to an answer. Ach! In the broader scheme of problems one might face in life, night sweats probably is not one of the higher-ranking difficulties. But waking suddenly to a sensation of being surrounded by cold, wet sheets—and feeling cold water pooling on one’s chest—is sufficiently disturbing to merit more investigation. I do not want only answers. I want solutions.


Before getting into my cozy, comfortable bed last night, we enjoyed dinner with (and delivered by) a couple of friends. A third friend had planned to come to dinner as well, but she fell ill yesterday and decided it best not to import to our house whatever ailment she might have. But she made the main course, anyway, and our other friends delivered it. I felt generally decent, but tired as usual, so shortly after dinner I excused myself from being social, opting to relax on the reclining loveseat in our television room while mi novia and our friends engaged in conversation. I would find it difficult to express more emphatically how utterly fed up I am with being constantly fatigued. Yet I have to constantly remind myself that I am fortunate, compared to people whose illnesses are far more taxing than mine.


The only reasonable justification for sporting a thin, scraggly beard and moustache is the fact that facial hair minimizes the frequency of needing to shave. Men whose facial hair is dense and is amenable to serving as an attractive fashion statement can choose either to shave or not; either way, the “look” can be appealing. Others, whose facial hair is sparse, cannot—with a straight face—claim to make a fashion statement in the absence of a razor. They—we—are simply lazy. And they—I—may delude themselves into believing their thin whisps of facial hair are just as “attractive” as the thick beards of their hairier brethren. Delusional is, indeed, the operative concept. All of this is to say I am in the early stages of deciding whether to keep the pathetic mange on my face or, instead, to shave it off and return to some semblance of respect for my might-as-well-be-nude facial landscape. Time will tell.


Phaedra, the cat, has spent the last few days being boarded at an off-site cathouse. The quietude in this house as a result is nothing short of delightful. No yowling, no sounds of claws tearing into expensive rugs and leather, no litterbox cat-stench infringing on the aromas of freshly-washed clothes in the laundry room. I realize this vacation from the felonious feline is temporary, of course, but it is such a welcome brief reprieve that I cannot help but celebrate. I would dance, if I could, to demonstrate my appreciation for off-site cathouses.


The day has begun to dawn. It may be time for me to try to nap in the television room.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Flippancy

  1. Thanks, Bev. I’m seeing a pulmonologist in the morning and my oncologist a few days hence. I’ll keep an eye out and will keep them informed of my symptoms.

  2. bevwigney says:

    On your list of possibilities, I’m leaning heavily on #3 (this is the voice of experience speaking). Let your doctors know this has been happening. Keep an eye on your body temperature. If anything seems off from normal, don’t ignore.

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