A short piece about being ill

Under the Weather
When you’re out-of-your-head sick, darkened thoughts crash like waves on a breakwater barrier.
Between wet coughs and nasal blows that seem never to clear one nostril, you think to call your therapist, because you’re sure you’ve lost your grip on reality.
The chills come and you huddle like a fetus under rumpled blankets and drift away – finally - only to wake parched and sweaty, hair matted and damp and the depression makes you bite your lip so hard it bleeds.
Your back propped up on pillows so you can breathe, you wait for the next dose of over-the-counter medication to lead you back into a stupor and begin to believe every dark thought that floats through your head.
The little digital thermometer beeps and its over, thank God because you were starting to think you might heave again and the action – along with a 101-degree temperature – curl your hands into fists and grit your teeth so tight it changes the taste of your saliva.
You’re losing it, that last little grip and the doorbell rings and it’s the neighbor and she’s brought homemade chicken noodle soup and a cool 7Up and her son smiles at you from behind her aproned hip and tells you to feel better and the sigh that you breathe ushers away all that tension.

3 comments:

Queen Of The Valkyries said...

Pardon me, but did you say your hair actually gets matted? How is that possible? My daughter wakes up every morning looking like Chewbacca caught in a windstorm, (BELIEVE IT!!!) but you, I imagine, wake up looking ready for roll call.
Like all you need to do is run your hands through your hair once and you're ready to go. With us, it involves two of us, brushes and green apple scented suave detangler spray in hand, delicately picking through the rats nests and her swatting me away and frowning like I've done her some horrible, horrible wrong.

Jon said...

I feel your pain. In fact, I feel all kinds of pain. Fuck this flu. $20 for a flu shot and I get to lay around with a 100-degree fever, seeing stars every time I cough (about every 5 seconds), can't breathe, can't think, can barely muster the strength to whine....

Uncle E said...

Like Jon I'm through with flu shots, man. Although, unlike Jon, I whined plenty...