Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Leper Colony of Sorts

I'm semi-locked into a quarantine situation.  It's comfortable; I have my own room and bathroom, and my bedroom has a TV with cable and On Demand.  I like the people with whom I'm quarantined.The hosts also have a dog that I like, and just for today and tomorrow, they're caring for a neighbor's cat, which gives me added amusement.

There's a piano in the event that I feel like playing it, although I haven't had sufficient energy to even think about playing it yet. Just in case I were to be the recipient of a sudden burst of energy, there's even a violin belonging to one of the house residents that I could play if I really felt like it. I just haven't felt like it.

Despite the comfort of my surroundings, I want to go home. Lest anyone get the idea that I'm overly sentimental, I would want to go home even if my parents and brother were in Antarctica.  I really miss my room.

I have the most perfect room in the universe.  It has huge windows, which I can use to take in the sun or the fog when I so desire. It also has lovely, opaquing blinds and curtains that I can use to cover up the windows when I would prefer for my room to be more like a cave.  My aunt and godmother, who has decorative sense far superior to my own, remodeled and decorated the room for me when my parents moved into their current home.  It's similar to a room she decorated for me in our old home in northern California.  The inspiration for the motif came from a jar of pink, white, and black jelly beans. The floor, walls and bedding  (and even the piano, which I had before, but moved into my bedroom in this house since the room was sufficiently large) are all color-coordinated, and I have multiple rugs, comforters, and sheets that I can switch when the mood suits me.  It's all a bit juvenile in appearance, but  I'm eighteen, and therefore not yet required to possess geriatric tastes.

I'll return home and to my beloved room after my 1:00 class on Tuesday.   Until that point, I may still be shedding virus germs, so I'm required to remain among the afflicted.

This causes me to wonder what it must have been like to have been afflicted with leprosy, AKA Hansen's Disease, before the modern age of medicine.  Most  diagnosed lepers of yore ended up either on the isle of Molokai in Hawaii, or in Carville, Louisiana.  If anyone has the idea that the island of Molokai is some sort of tropical paradise, google it to find out just how incorrect your mental images are.  It looks as I would imagine a cross between Arizona and Hell to look. I've never been to Carville, Louisiana (named for one of the ancestors of political strategist and pundit James Carville, by the way, who happens to be, in my opinion, one of the funniest people on the planet) but I can't imagine that living there would be all that much better than living on Molokai. If it were, why would anyone have given the acreage away to lepers?

Leprosy, or Hansen's Disease, is supposedly still incurable but now controllable. Regardless, I'd rather not contract it. You don't hear much about anyone getting it now, at least around here, although there was a person on House with a case of it a few years ago.  I know very little about the condition except that it was common in Biblical times, and people routinely lost digits and even extremities to the condition. When I was in second grade, anyone who sold enough tickets to the school's annual fish fry was allowed to watch the movie Father Damien: The Leper Priest, which was originally a made-for TV movie. The movie so inspired my brother that six or so years later, he took "Damien" as his confirmation name.  The movie merely inspired me never to worry about selling enough of whatever it was we were forced to sell to get whatever incentive the nuns and their minions were holding over our heads.  I can have bad dreams on my own quite nicely without some movie causing  nightmares about my fingers and toes falling off.

In the meantime, I'm among pleasant company until my quarantine is lifted.

No comments:

Post a Comment