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Monday, December 28, 2009


The pestilence of the holidays has spread its ugly wings. By that I mean that everyone around me is starting to bark like a seal. I'm just waiting for my little bacterial care-package to arrive. My wife's been hit pretty hard. I'm trying to make things easier for her, but I'm so bad at finding an adequate response to a coughing fit. My first impulse is always to answer back with a coughing fit of my own, but she just assumes I'm singing another Macy Gray song that's been stuck in my head for the past week.

It was three-thirty last night when I was awakened by what sounded like the mating call of a seal. I sat bolt-upright like Lazarus in his tomb, only I had earlier that evening lost my gauze because a strand of it had become stuck on the blade of my fan. She threw back the covers and exited the stage in search of some warm tea, and maybe some well-deserved relief.

Well, I tried to turn over and leave her to her own devices but felt guilty. In all honesty, I have, for the past couple days, been trying to contract an illness of my own in order to better commiserate with her. So far, all I've managed to do is develop a little poignant sniffle that might trouble a particularly sensitive mother, but doesn't score me any misery points with my wife; she wins.

I walked into the clinical lights of the kitchen and winced my support to my wife. She looked back at me and understood how helpless I was here. "Go back to bed." Feebly, I placed a copy of The Bell Jar in her hand and took my leave. When she came back with tea, cough-drops,tissues, an oxygen tank and a deep-sea diving suit, I turned my fan back on.

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