I've been a little sick recently.
Just after Christmas, my daughters, or "The Vectors of Disease" as I
like to think of them, began collecting rare variations of this winter's
crop of colds, flues and clandestine government biowarfare experiments
and bringing them home. It's hard to proudly display a microscopic germ
the way you might Beanie Babies or Pokemon cards. If you really want to
give your new malady pride of place, keep it out where you can gaze on
it lovingly whenever you want, you pretty much have to give it to your
My oldest has a sort of Jackson Pollack aesthetic about the whole thing,
a no holds barred, cough up a lung, contaminate the air and coat every
surface approach. She is her sickness. To live with her is to live with
it. The younger, not even a year yet, has a surprisingly post modern
style, full of tongue in cheek irony. She likes to let her virus brew
for a while, patiently allowing it to mutate into something unique, like
a Toddler Julia Child slowly simmering a consume. Then with a delightful, wide mouth chuckle, exposing both
of her tiny little choppers, she'll jam a chubby finger absolutely seething with
corruption right up your nose. Or into your mouth, and eye, ear, open
cut, she's not that particular as long as there's some sort of soft
tissue for her to colonize.
You may have noticed I haven't used their names. That's because we're
afraid the Center for Disease Control will want them for breeding stock.
I tell you all this because I'm sure you've been ill at least once this
winter, and there's something I need you to know; I'm sicker than you.
My wife's had everything I've had and I'm sicker than her too. The folks
who's suppurating wounds Mother Theresa used to swab? Sicker than them
too. Well, maybe not sicker, but I feel worse. I don't care if you've
had scarlet fever, walking pneumonia or that thing where you fall in
front of a speeding subway train, I feel much worse than you. So don't
talk to me about your swollen sinuses, your post nasal drip, your tight
chest. I don't give a rat's ass. Right now you should be making me a cup
of tea and getting a cold cloth for my forehead. I'd ask you to massage
a little Vic's onto my chest, but we've never even met so I'll thank you
not to get so Goddamned close.
Okay, you know when you move into a new house? And at some point you
decide to clean the gutters? And it turns out the guy who lived there
before you was an Octogenarian midget with an aversion to ladders? So
there's a generation a decaying leaves and moss and muck and squirrel
carcasses and bird bones and once you get down deep enough it's just
this uniform black stew that smells like a rotting tooth? That's pretty
much what's going on in my ears, nose and throat. Yesterday I coughed so
hard I actually turned inside out. My temperature? 115 degrees. And yes,
I know that's medically impossible. My voice sounds like someone
punching holes in an ancient screen door with a piece of chalk. On the
rare occasions I can make myself understood I'm mistaken for Lauren
Bacall on a three day bender asking for her Goddamned unfiltered Camels
for Christ's sake.
I'm not looking for your pity. It's nothing to me. Jesus on the Cross,
maybe. You? What do you know about suffering?
I'm sure I'll get better eventually. Either that or I'll die and then
all you bastards will sure as hell be sorry. If I'm a little bit
grouchy, well I'm sure I apologize. I don't guess you're Martha friggin'
Stuart every hour of the day either. Now go in the kitchen, make me some
chicken soup, turn on Judge Judy but not so GODDAMNED LOUD, MY HEAD IS
SPLITTING, WHO ARE YOU, HITLER?! And when I ring this little bell? That
means come in here and sit quietly listening to me complain. It doesn't
make me feel any better, but I can see it makes you feel worse and
that's about the only thing right now that let's me know I'm still
#1: Max Burbank is currently enjoying a hot bowl of
"special" chicken soup and working towards a good
note #2: -RoG- made that "special" chicken soup just for Max.
"Special" meaning "urinated in".