Today I noticed a cold sore growing on my upper lip as I crossed the street from school. It was a tiny little thing, just a bump. But I could tell by the way it felt when I tongued it—the way it rested snugly between a couple of other smaller bumps—that it was definitely a cold sore. Most people, when their cold sores grow in, they usually get these minuscule things that aren’t worth complaining about. But me, my cold sores have to be called “fever blisters”, because they grow into giant flesh-bubbles that entirely clutter up one side of my upper lip, reminiscent of herpes.
When I got home, I didn’t think on it. I ordered myself some pizza and went online to watch some Shippuden. Eight boring slices and another toss-away episode later, I started playing video games. The hours slipped by and so did the cold sore from my mind. After boring myself to death I got up and went to have a glass of water. It was around six o’clock in the PM. All I was wondering about was how lonely things got on a Friday afternoon.
This is the part where I’m supposed to foreshadow how terrible things were about to become, but truthfully none of it was all that terrible. At least, not on their own occurrences. In tangent to one another, however—well. That’s another story. The story I’m about to start telling now.
It started when I took a sip from my glass of water. I noticed that the cold sore had gotten bigger from earlier today; it was at least three times in size. I thought about it for a while and figured that I might as well try to do something about it, since I already missed school yesterday and couldn’t afford to miss Monday, too. I went to the bathroom and looked in the medicine cabinet. There, I found the solution for all of my problems: a tube of penciclovir cream. I went ahead and unscrewed the top but it was there that I encountered my first large little annoyance. The top had been molded over with some sort of protective aluminum cover that I could not rip off.
I’ll use scissors to cut off the top, I thought. I searched the entire bathroom and, of all the times, no scissors. So I put down the tube and went to my mother’s bedroom and scoured her dresser. Magic! No scissors.
So I thought to use a knife. There was definitely a knife in the house. I walked back to the kitchen and more enchantments were cast on me, making the simple trek an arduous journey of almost tenty—yes, tenty—seconds. The apartment was never that big. The kitchen was never that far.
I found a knife but, lo and behold, it was a butterknife. At my place butterknives don’t cut anything. Not even butter. So I looked in a special compartment where all the sharp knives were kept in disarray. This one I saw coming a little farther along; all of the “sharp” knives were the dull ones in the house, except for a giant butcher knife that I never touched because…well, it was a giant butcher knife. My favorite knife, the only one in the entire apartment that actually cut anything—safely—was suddenly missing. So I took the butcher knife and shut up about it.
I trotted back to the bathroom—another magic tenty seconds—and impatiently slit the tube somewhere along the middle. Some of its contents spilled over and I immediately stopped cutting. A vein popped up in my forehead as I made another journey through Narnia, washed up and looked around for a towel. Of course, no towel. I ventured back to my room and wiped my hands on my bathing towel, then took a fresh one from my drawer, journeyed back through the Aztec temple, and put it on the door of the kitchen fridge. A final sprint put me back in the bathroom where I realized that I had not washed my hands with soap.
Many frustrated seconds later, I applied the cream to my cole sore and hastily put it back in the medicine cabinet. I washed my hands again (with soap) and headed back to my bedroom, glad that the episode was finally over. But of course, it was not over. No, it had only just begun!
I observed my reflection with its lip covered in the white cream, made a few rude comments to put myself back in a good mood, then sat back down to enjoy God of War 2. Before I even started, some random devil tapped me on my shoulder to remind me that I had not applied the penciclovir properly, that I had to put some peroxide on it BEFORE putting on the cream. I dropped the controller on a loading screen and hastily made way back to the bathroom, where I rubbed off the cream and engaged on a second, more ruthless journey.
I re-opened the medicine cabinet and took out the tube, then began rummaging around for the peroxide. It was a large, easily distinguishable brown bottle, but I could not find it in the dark abyss that was the medicine cabinet. So I went back to my room to get my flashlight, which was usually in my crate-o-stuff, but of course wasn’t there today. I proceeded to look for the flashlight all over my room and found it sitting next to the phone, tearing up with laughter. Feeling a touch annoyed at this point, I shut off God of War 2 and called Kratos a proud jackass.
In the bathroom, I found the peroxide in the back of the medicine cabinet, hiding in a dark corner because this was all just a game to everyone but myself. As I prepared to apply it, I realized the bottle was almost finished and that I would have to dip in with a Q-tip so as not to spill anything over and waste the remainders. (You can imagine the Q-tips flying away behind my back at this point.)
I went back to my mom’s room, where she had a spare set of Q-tips for baby-and-she, and had a challenge unwedging a Q-tip stuck in its own ungodly length between the opening of the box. I went back to the bathroom and dipped the Q-tip in the peroxide carefully, then applied it to the cold sore-o-doom. A small bubbling sensation meant that the peroxide was already kicking all sorts of virus kiester.
I turned on the faucet and rinsed my hands, then as I went to apply soap I realized that the bathroom didn’t have lotion for the guests. My mom had actually asked me to buy some lotion for the bathroom on the way home and I had completely forgotten in my rush to get fatter and continue being otaku.
I stood staring at the empty space where the lotion should have been, then took a deep breath and screamed.
“ZEUS! YOU DARE TO CONSPIRE AGAINST ME!?”
So I crossed the frigging Arabian desert to scour the kitchen for a spare bottle of lotion. Then I realized I had forgotten to finish reapplying the penciclovir. I raced back through the battlefield and laid it on thick. I washed my hands again, ran back uphill. Abruptly I stopped and wondered what in the hell I was doing looking for lotion in the kitchen. I went to my mother’s room and found at least a dozen brands of lotion, all hers, but not one that I could put in the bathroom. I went back to my room and started getting ready to go to the supermarket. When I had stripped down to my boxers, I realized what I had been going to the kitchen for: the butcher knife was still in the bathroom. I had meant to put it back when I went to wash my hands in the kitchen—after all, why wash up in the kitchen when there’s a sink in the bathroom? I ran back to the bathroom and stubbed my toe on the door. I kicked the door. In the process of pulling my foot back in the narrow hallway, I hit the wall behind me and sent my mother’s wedding portrait crashing to the floor. I would have turned and stomped on it, except my toe was in even more pain after colliding with the door. I leaned up against the closet door next to it and held my foot in pain. Something smooth caused me to slide down and land on my backside. I turned and found my little sister’s alphabet chart; I had pulled it off the closet door with my weight. I closed my eyes and achieved zen. I floated through the savannah and snatched the duct tape from under the kitchen sink. The open packet of Tide on top of it fell and spilled its contents all over the small space under the sink. I attempted to remove the entire basket of household products so I could clean up the mess. The basket caught on the sticky mouse trap right in front of me. I stood and drop-kicked the air. I removed the mouse trap forcefully, folded it in half, and dunked it in the garbage. Which was full. I drop-kicked the air again, grabbed the broom, swept up the Tide, threw the broom down, put back the basket, slammed the cupboard door, tied the garbage, ran downstairs, threw it behind the building, ran back to Gryffindor tower, ran back to the kitchen to get the forgotten duct tape, ran back across the sunlit plains of Camelot, ran back to the kitchen after realizing that the alphabet chart had not been covered with duct tape, ran back when I realized I had no more frigs to give, stitched the chart back to the door—who cares if it was slanted—hooked my mother’s portrait back on the nail on the wall—who cares if that was slanted—turned and stubbed my toe again, blurted an expletive, punched the door in its solar plexus, somersaulted into the bathroom, snatched up the butcher knife, made a ninjutsu seal, teleported backstage, tossed it in the sink, drove back downtown, and for a few minutes just spun around searching for any other lurking warriors.
I found myself in the mirror and almost drop-kicked me, but stopped just in time to notice how crazed I looked. My leg fell slowly back to the floor. Half-naked, slouched, unshaven and with a giant white blob on my upper lip, I may have devolved a few centuries. My reflection stared back at me and we had ourselves a moment of silence for all the other soldiers that were surely about to be lost.
And then my mom came home, announcing that she had brought the lotion with her. I kicked myself in the ass with all my vigor and was out for the night.