So last weekend, the Universe answered my impassioned plea to get out of the urban into the rural and I ended up in Bosmun along the Ramu River.
As members of the party bedded down for the night, I was left with little option by to spread out a piece of tarpaulin on the ground and, under a tall slender buai palm, I too, switched off for the night.
Earlier, I remarked to a friend, about how there were apparently, no mosquitos. Well, at least, not as many as I expected for a river community. In all fairness, I had been bitten by two bugs between the hours of 7pm and 11pm.
Slumber was sweet while it lasted. Then as morning approached, the base of my neck felt as if I had received 100 Shuto-Uchi (knife hand strikes) by a Karate Sensei while I was asleep.
I groaned as a turned over on the hard ground trying to find some comfort. It was still dark. My whole spine hurt as I turned. Felt like I was in a headlock all night by a BJJ black belt while Karate Sensei let lose with his 100 Shuto-Uchi taken straight from ancient scrolls the West had not even set eyes on.
Groggily, I stood up and rolled the tarpaulin. The kind woman who gave it to me must have been quite annoyed at the state I left it in. Dirty. Rolled and not folded.
So fast forward to 10am… I was lying on my back. Arms folded on my chest, vampire style, on the trunks of two buai palms laid on the ground.
It FELT like Malaria. (Note the capital ‘M’ because this freakin’ illness deserves respect). But I refused to admit it. Nothing gets me down. Not even Karate Sensei or BJJ back belt. I was stubborn.
My kind hosts, Barry and JC woke me up and organized for some Panadol. One said: “Dude, you have Malaria….”
I said: “Noooooooooo.”
On the cellular level, a LOT was happening and a lot had happened over 24 hours. The two mosquitoes, that had bitten me earlier weren’t ordinary bugs. They were the equivalent of heavy duty military transporters.
The two bites I received at 7pm and 11pm were actually separate insertions of elite Malaria troops – the SAS – of the parasitic world. While the enemy – aka Me – lay unawares, the troops had secured key installations – the brain, liver and supply lines (blood vessels).
It was the perfect execution of one of Sun Tzu’s basic Art of War principles of “taking a country whole and intact.” My insides were taken “whole and intact” by a bunch of crack parasitic troops who then proceeded to set up marshal law at will.
By 4pm, my whole system was collapsing. A squad of Malaria parasites had seized my body’s main power generator and were shutting it down.
Inside the 10-seater, I was shivering violently. Maisen, resourceful as ever, handed me a sleeping bag. I turned up the cruiser’s heater in the merciless tropical Madang heat. I was unapologetic.
Then another squad of parasites took over the water supply – the kidney and the bladder. I called for an urgent pit stop and hobbled out to the kunai shivering like a half-naked bushman teleported to the Siberian tundra just for fun.
By 7pm, a larger section of troops had begun a coordinated assault on my brain – my body’s Central Government. Resistance was futile. We were unprepared for an attack of this sort. After nearly a decade of peace, our military establishment had become weak and complacent.
Over the next 48 hours. Deterioration was rapid and severe.
The parasitic section’s, IT and Psy-Ops divisions sprung into action once Central Government was secure.
They didn’t need passwords. They hacked into the main computer systems then messed with my brain and everything. Downloading, deleting terabytes of data and replacing them with fake news, fake accounts and alternative truths.
Dreams were played and replayed again and again. The Matrix was regenerated in my mind. The same images…The same faces appeared and disappeared. Like Neo, I fought a thousand battles and million wars over and over again.
The Malaria army was in TOTAL control.
After 24 hours, I received my first shot of Artemether. The injection unleashed an army of highly skilled antimalarial agents, who within hours, were able to restore order and control.
While some damage had been done, much of “the country” was still intact and the rebuilding effort is continuing. Special efforts are being made to rebuild all infrastructure and military establishments.
It’s good food and rest from here on.