I’m sick as I write this and sucking on a Cold-Eeze cough drop (for the record, cherry is their best flavor) and just praying that in this cloud of cold medications and used tissues, something in this essay makes a little sense.
I used to be sick all the time as a kid and I hated it. The only time I liked being sick was when I was faking it.
I remember, for example, having the chicken pox as a kindergartner. First of all, I thought chicken pox came from eating fried chicken (it seemed logical to me) and second of all, that crap itches. I spent my sick time seeping in calamine lotion and watching Out of This World (best show on television at the time) and reruns of Doogie Howser (because even as a kid I loved Neil Patrick Harris) and only because The OJ Simpson Trial wasn’t on yet (but that was my favorite show as a kid).
Towards the end of my week-long illness, my uncle came over to see how I was doing. He brought me over some Red Vines as a get well present and sat with me on the couch eating them while we watched television.
“I knew a girl who had the chicken pox as a kid,” he said.
“You did?” I ask, relieved that I wasn’t the only one who ever had this illness. Sick people in misery love company.
‘Yeah,” he said as Bewitched came on and he took another Red Vine.
“What happened to the girl with chicken pox?” I ask.
He chews, “Her arm fell off.”
I burst into tears.
My uncle laughed his ass off and tried to tell me he’s just joking.
I’ve always been kind of a germophobe, even before I knew what that was, so the initial onset of suggested illness spurs a fear in me some might only get while watching Paranormal Activity I, II, or III. I hate it. I hate knowing that soon I might be coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and in general, looking about as good as I feel. Being sick is a total waste of a good hair day, plus the feeling of being hit by a bus is never fun.
Even at 24, there’s something about being sick that reverts me back into a 7-year-old. I spend my days growling for my mother to please make me soup, toast and tea and she gladly complies until I fall asleep for fifteen hours straight because that NyQuil is a really wonderful thing.
Being sick messes with your mind and your ability to do little more than walk from your bathroom back to your bed where you can fall asleep and have insane fever induced dreams. Just last night, Katy Perry and I went to my old elementary school to dedicate a pool and then we went swimming in it. Oh, and there were dolphins. And also my old tennis instructor. And snakes. And that’s when I woke myself up just in time to take some DayQuil.
Moral of the story? Wash your hands, you guys. It’s cold and flu season.