Sunday, January 30, 2011


I am sick. I have been sick for awhile and in this condition we are thrown back to our infant days when the only reality is the here and now and my body can't remember when it wasn't sick. I gaze blearily up at Cowboy Dave perched above me. Just shoot me and bury my body near the apple tree, my crusted-over lips whisper.  "We have an apple tree?" he wonders.
Dave notes that I am wearing the same outfit today that I wore yesterday and slept in last night. I just added underwear during the daylight hours. Less laundry to do, I cough and gurgle into my Kleenex. I don't get as sick as I did when I smoked. Holy Marlboros, Batman, those were crazy fun days and a small cold could turn into a lengthy raw-throated case of bronchitis and there were many trips to the acute care center.

 The doctor would shake his head as he smelled my bad habit all about me. "Why don't you just shoot yourself in the foot," he said, "it makes about as much sense."   Doctors define addiction as personal weakness and why can't they be more like the guy in  the Norman Rockwell painting?  At least we didn't have to beg for antibiotics in those days. Recently, during a routine physical  I mentioned I was in the fourth week of a sinus infection and a little pill or two could speed recovery.  "Oh, you can wait it out," my doctor said, " just another two weeks probably."  I glared at him with red-rimmed eyes willing  my tainted bacteria to invade his mucous membranes.

 I remember Al, the manager of the drug store where I worked summers between college semesters. He went to pharmacy school full-time and then pumped gas eight hours every night and you gotta admire that kind of pluck.  I don't understand, Al said, after a cashier called in sick.  "Shirley was all right yesterday and I know she'll be back tomorrow. How can you be sick for one day?"  I mentioned that in the break room and Shirley's sick leaves got longer.
Years later I was applying for a job at the same store. I left my husband and I had been unemployed for ten years due to three pregnancies.  Al had long been promoted to a downtown office and the human resources manager said without glancing my way that there was no employment found in any of the stores.  "Recession, you know," he added playing with a pearl-studded cuff link.  The next morning at seven a.m. he called and his voice was somewhat humbled to the point that he could play humble.  "Al saw your application on my desk and he said to hire you - you work hard."  Several  positions had materialized and I had my pick, imagine that.
Work hard, children, you never know where the dividends will take you.  In most situations someone is watching and marking time.


MrDaveyGie said...

tis the season for the mucas.

Melissa in MN said...

The plague has also made the rounds in our house. Get better soon!

dawn marie giegerich said...

Sorry, Cameron wins. She has foot, hand and mouth disease.