06 November 2011

fortress of solitude

So, for some inexplicable reason, I am currently enjoying the second break of this semester. Not that I’m complaining. Stockholm University gets me. But, while my peers whisked away to various locations around Europe, I decided to stay put. Except, it wasn’t an actual conscious decision on my part, but rather an absence of a decision. My point is, I am here. And it is amazing.

I have this entire week to see Stockholm with fresh eyes. I walked around Central Stockholm as a tourist again yesterday, eyes wide open. I didn’t have to rush to class or to meet anyone. I got to be selfish and do everything at my own pace. I was planning on going to Gamla Stan today, but I decided that I woke up too late, so I read and cleaned my apartment. My life is terribly difficult.

While being alone is among my favorite things, I couldn’t help but notice that it emphasizes certain characteristics of mine that are a bit disturbing. For starters, I’ve been wearing the same shirt for the past two days. Of course, pants do not accompany this shirt. I have also found that it is entirely possible to subsist on coffee, but I know that I’m going to have to make a change soon.

But the most disturbing things about being alone is that all I hear are my own unfiltered thoughts.

A couple days ago, I noticed that there was the unpleasant sensation that something was lodged in my throat. It wasn’t painful and didn’t constrict my breathing, but it was annoying and even now I am very aware of its presence. No matter how violently I coughed or cleared my throat, the feeling persisted. I drank hot tea with honey, swallowed large quantities of bread, and even gargled with warm salt water (which can only be described as leaving the feeling of drinking hot ocean).

Finally, I inspected the back of my throat with a handheld mirror and my desk lamp. Then, I realized that I don’t exactly know what a normal throat should look like, so there is a possibility that something could be wrong but I simply wasn’t trained to spot it.

In a panic, I googled possible medical reason why I would feel this way. Biggest. Mistake. Ever.

Correction. Using Google Image search was the biggest mistake ever.

I was bombarded with images of strep throat and throat cancer, as well as lists of symptoms for the aforementioned that may or may not correspond with my condition. Of course, one website mentioned that it could be due to stress, so the best course of action would be to not think about it and calm down. Clearly that person does not understand how a hypochondriac functions (or does not function). I cannot stop thinking about whatever the fuck is back there, and I am far from calm. And, since there’s no distraction from it, I keep chugging tea and eating bread with the hope that it’ll just go away.

In the meanwhile, I’m going to do some more reading and figure out what I want to do for the rest of the week.


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