Ah yes, summertime. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and I can not eat a single morsel of food even if my life depended on it. Well, I guess technically your life does depend on eating food for survival, but we will get to that.
Picture, if you will, the beautiful, palm tree clad waterfront city known as Tampa, Florida. A place where the beautiful beach property that defines the city is juxtaposed with like twenty different strip clubs. A place where the intricate and interesting Cuban architecture, culture and influence is contrasted by an empty lot in downtown where a Trump Tower was supposed to go like eight years ago. Got all of this imagery in your head? Good. This is where I spend my time away from Charlottesville. As other Tampanians (Tampites? Tampons?) say, “We live where you vacation.™”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love living in Tampa. Spending a year away from here for school made me really appreciate and love my hometown much more than I used to, as I’m sure many readers can relate to. Therefore, by the end of my last exam in May, I was beyond pumped to get back to the sunny beaches, 130 percent humidity and an infinite amount of sunburn. I am undoubtedly the palest Floridian, but that’s besides the point. However, upon my return home, my super happy fun time summer plans were completely derailed by my own body. That’s right, my own body betrayed me.
At this point in my tale it makes sense to provide some context. Now, it is obvious that moving away from home leads to some unnecessary side effects in one’s first semester away, one of which is a proneness to being sick. In my first semester at U.Va., I got strep throat five times. I’ll tell you, if you were thinking about getting strep throat five times just for fun or something, don’t. First of all, not only is it not fun, but that’s also a dumb idea for you to pick up as a hobby. More importantly, though, it is not not unfun. So there’s two reasons for you.
After reluctantly sojourning to my local ENT (that’s the ear, nose, and throat doctor, you pleb), I was sadly informed that my tonsils, those homies that sat in my throat supposedly protecting me from getting sick, were actually super inflamed and needed to go. Dang. Betrayed by my own flesh and blood. Well, now I know how Mufasa felt when Scar betrayed him in “The Lion King,” I guess.
As the story goes with tonsil recovery, you really can’t do much for two weeks. I couldn’t go to the gym, I couldn’t go to work, and I couldn’t really do much outside of my house at all. However, the worst part was the fact that I was really unable to eat any solid food whatsoever, so I was on a sweet yogurt and smoothie diet for two weeks. That doesn’t sound bad, but that’s not counting the fact that every single swallow felt like agony, so gulping those suckers down felt like I was swallowing razor blades, which is another hobby that you should not pick up. Write that down. Regardless, I couldn’t really eat. I felt pretty rotten all the time, and I lost around ten pounds (not in like a healthy way, in like a “Hey man, you should try this new thing they invented called food” kind of way). Woohoo, dream summer.
I guess a positive thing about having all that downtime was the ability to watch a lot of shows, but after two days, I had finished the only two shows I was casually watching at the time, “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Now I was faced with an important issue: what new movie or TV show should I try to find? Perhaps I could’ve watched “You’ve Got Mail,” starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, a film that my friend had been wanting me to watch for moths. However, for those keeping score at home, I definitely just took my pain meds and went to bed at 3 p.m.
Living in Tampa is really a blessing. It is a wonderful place full of unique and interesting things to do, but this summer, I have really kicked it up a notch. Instead of doing these said things, I decided have a doctor order me to lock myself in my room so I could watch the palm trees sway through my window. My summer is definitely better than yours.