Unable to Sleep, I Recall CBS Soap Operas of Yore
And Also Quitting
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Tuesday afternoon after a long and wonderful romp with Ruthie across country fields I arrived home abnormally tired. When I woke up from a two hour nap it was clear that I was sick.
Tuesday night my throat hurt so much I couldn’t sleep. My nose was also stuffed up. I hadn’t been sick for at least two years and I just laid there, mouth breathing and thinking about the last time my throat hurt this much, which was in 1986 when I was a junior in high school and got mononucleosis.
I had a bad case of it. At one point I had a 105 degree fever. I spent a lot of time trying not to swallow, putting it off as long as I could, bracing myself when I finally had to. To my great joy, despite the misery, I missed six weeks of school.
The fatigue was intense, but I did manage to make my way to the couch every day to watch television. We didn’t have cable, just the basic stations. I lived for the time between one and four p.m. when The Young and the Restless, then As the World Turns, then The Guiding Light aired.
I’m trying to remember what happened on these shows. There was someone named Lily with a soft pretty face, and a brassy ash blonde named Reva who was married to Billy but in love with his younger brother Josh.
Someone was named Dr. Bob. His wife was boring, actually, they both were. And Ashley! There was an Ashley, enchanting and chic. I just looked her up on Wikipedia and the character’s professions were listed as “businesswoman, chemist, socialite.” The actress who played Ashley (many did, she’s the iconic Ashley) Eileen Davidson, was on Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills.
I returned to my small rural public high school in April after having been home for most of the winter. I had to sit out the tennis season because if a tennis ball hit my spleen, I could die. I might be making some of this up, but this is how I remember it. It was the first season I hadn’t played a sport in years. I thought I would be sorry about this, but it was delightful to sit in class during last period, realizing the day was truly almost over, that there was not some vast period of exertion and being shouted at or encouraged (just as bad) awaiting me.
In the fall I was all better. I went to soccer practice for three days. It was hot as hell out. One day I was running for the ball and the coach said something like “Hey, do you really want that ball Miller” and I was like, “Your tone of voice is warranted, I really do not, I really want to go home to watch my soap operas.”
So I stopped playing soccer. I had last period free and I was a senior so I was able to leave school early and got home around 1:40, which meant I missed 2/3 of The Young and the Restless but I got to see the others in their entirety. I really enjoyed my shows, being alone in the house with the dog, just relaxing and not having to be anywhere.
I thought about this time in my life until I fell asleep.