Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sick

Everybody I know has a cold. In 1935 Laurence Durrell noticed the same thing and promptly moved to Greece. I'd do the same thing right this minute if I could manage to avoid being apprehended and quarantined.

I haven't been posting lately because my mucous membranes have been in overdrive and my fever was making me see slavering fanged Keebler elves at the far reaches of my peripheral vision. I've been existing on TheraFlu, cereal, tea, and canned Progresso minestrone (which soup is a lifesaver when I have a cold, but when I'm well makes me feel like I'm getting sick). At times like this I start to think of myself not as a human being, with all the profundity and wonder that title implies, but as a sagging, oozing, irredeemably vile bag of blood and pus and less savory things, shivering in wretchedness and despair, waiting for death to do the world a favor by taking me out of it.

To "have a cold." It's such an innocuous phrase. It conveys nothing of the sheer misery and awfulness of the disease. Why don't we name diseases more descriptively? The Black Death, now that's a well-named illness. You know what the Black Death is all about. But calling this thing I've got a "cold," or worse, a "common cold," comes nowhere near describing the hours spent drifting in and out of consciousness on my couch, the sleep lost by waking up in the middle of the night to cough, the trashcan full of sodden kleenex, the deep desire I have to remove my entire face like a mask so I can breathe again. The keen awareness of my mortality. The soul-crumpling, disgusting banality of it all.

Maybe you should go wash your hands when you're done reading this.

11 comments:

T said...

Yeah, "cold" just doesn't express it at all! And alas! I may be coming down with one as well, and me off to a conference for the weekend at ass o'clock tomorrow morning.

That Progresso soup does the same for me. Except that it also makes me think I'm at my mom's house, though the lentil does that more.

Orion said...

Oh....can I relate to this big time..especially the part of wanting to take one's face off so you can breathe again. Although I'm glad you can't do that... I like your face being where it is. I hope your cats are performing all their nurse cat duties... I know it's just miserable... I wish they'd come up with something REALLY useful to help... the regimen of rest in bed, drink plenty of fluids and take aspirin for fever...seems sooooooooo last century.

Jenny Juice Box Flava Grillz said...

Here's my remedy (passed down through generations of my lampshade-wearing ancestors): hot toddies with lemon and red pepper flakes. Maybe not the healthiest advice, but way funner than NyQuil. :)

Rob said...

Oooh. Lemon/hot pepper hot toddies. Oooh. I almost want to get sick again so I can try that. Almost.

Juice said...

You can drink em sober too! Whoo-hoo!

Juice said...

I mean, well. Whoa. Freudian!

Rob said...

Hah! Now THAT's the right attitude.

"Hi, uh, I can't come to work today, I'm drunk. I mean, sick. Yeah, sick. That's what I am."

Juice said...

(Puke, puke!) Ooops, I mean, (cough, cough!)

Rantin' bout the Cavs! said...

Been known to happen...one time after the Ennis Trad weekend, a bunch of us had all we could handle trying to tell S. she could NOT go to work, that she was clearly still wasted and smelled like a distillery....

t said...

Ok, that was weird. The computer at school has me logged in as "Rantin'"--whatever THAT'S about....

Rob said...

Rantin about the Calves? What the hell is that? An anti-veal group or something?