Man, I hate being sick. I mean, I’ve been accused of being a miserable S.O.B. when I’m healthy. But when I’m sick? Forget it.
I’ve been fighting a head cold for the past week. Or maybe it’s a chest cold. I’m not sure. I was coughing Monday, weak Tuesday, itchy throat Wednesday, sneezing Thursday, and I’m back to coughing again today. Fuckery, plain and simple.
It’s one of those colds that makes your head feel not-quite-right. You know- kind of spinny and slightly imbalanced? (Yes, I know that some might accuse me of being more than slightly imbalanced.) That’s what I’ve got. Along with the coughing. Or sneezing. Or coughing. Depending on what day it is.
Oh yeah- let’s not forget the sniffles. I’ve already run through most all of my handkerchiefs (am I the only guy who uses those anymore- other than 800 year old caretakers in Stephen King stories?) and Julie’s put a hurting on the TP (she has a cold, too).
And then there’s my favorite- the fever. ‘Cause, you know, I’m not loopy enough when normal- or when I’m dizzy from a head cold- so let’s toss fever delirium onto the list. My normal temperature is around 96.4 (I like to be different). I made it to 99.7 yesterday. Not my all time best by any means, but still high for a “reptile” (thanks, Sandra J). My high, if you're curious, was a 101 something last year. Shelby made me lie on the couch for two days.
I managed about three quarters of a day’s work Monday, had my normal Tuesday off (I wanted to go see the King Tut exhibit on Tuesday, but was overruled), worked all day Wednesday, relapsed Thursday and now- Friday- I can’t decide how I feel. A little light-headed, yes. Not feverish, though. It’s early yet.
Then there's Valentine’s Day. I don’t recall ever having really gone all out for one (mostly because I’ve always been single). This year, I’m torn. I was instructed not to get a gift. Problem is, I know I’ll be on the receiving end of one. When I factor in my slight disorientation from my cold along with the conflicting elements of wanting to be a good boyfriend who remembers to do nice things and wanting to be the good boyfriend who pays attention to what she says, my head starts spinning like a pinwheel in a hurricane (I suck at analogies).
I think I used the “I’m sick” excuse last February 14th, though.
I like to blame my colds on Savannah. It seems like every time I go for a visit, I come back with the creeping crud. Sandi says it has something to do with the shit hole bars I go in. She’s probably right (smart girl, that Sandra J). Last weekend, it was not one, but two said holes- one downtown and one on the Southside.
“Well, dumbass,” you may be asking, “why do you go to these places?”
The reason is pretty simple- my friends hang out there. See, they like karaoke (I like it more when I’m getting paid to do it) and that’s where they hang out. So, every time I’m in Savannah, I end up sitting in this smoky bar for three or four hours, clogging up my lungs with secondhand smoke and listening to people mangle Billy Joel songs (oh- wait… that was me). I do it because I like hanging out with my friends. I just don’t like the aftereffects (smelly clothes, coughing up bits of lung butter for a week or two afterwards, etc.).
After we closed that one down, Shelby wanted to go say “hi” at her old hangout downtown. That was fine with me- her old hangout was a place I'd hung out, too- oh so many years ago when I thought I would make a career for myself in broadcasting.
We get in the place and it was like be hit in the face with a roundhouse from Ali in his prime except, instead of a glove, Ali’s covering your mouth and forcing you to suck in a thick lungful of secondhand smoke (like I said, bad at analogy). I mean, there was a haze in there so thick you almost needed to use a machete to cut your way through to the bar for a drink.
And the people? Fuck me running. Back in the days when we’d hit this place at 11:45 or so after the late news, it was a sparsely populated dive. Guess what? It’s still a dive, but the population had expanded.
Where Julie and I once saw an unsuccessful mayoral candidate passed out after drowning his election night sorrows were a couple of posers sporting “rat pack” fedoras and Misfits tee-shirts while discussing their dislike for mainstream Swedish cinema like Bergman. Pick a fucking theme, will ya?
At the bar, where six or so of us would sit and nurse drinks until well past closing time sat some douche talking on his cell phone about what a “righteous time” he was having and how we was “totally gonna get laid” by the hoochie sitting next to him (I’m guessing she said “no”, barfed in his dad’s Audi, and then cried because he made her walk back to her dorm alone).
I never had the patience for those types.
And if they’re just being themselves? Guess what- assrag? You’re a douche. You’re maybe 21 years old. Mommy and Daddy pay for you to go to school. And your food. And your housing. And they‘ll probably pay the balance on the credit card you‘re using to knock back PBR and Jaeger until you puke. You have nothing to mope about, no cause for angst.
I guess I’m just getting old. Wait, who am I kidding? I know I am. The world has moved on. Out with the old (me), in with the new (them). I should’ve coughed on them…