31 March 2008

How to get things done: Get Sick.

I'm not going to try to pull the wool over your eyes here. I started writing this post two days ago when I felt semi-tolerably awful. I said to myself at the time, "Hmm. This illness is both bothersome and painful, but I can hack it. Cough cough cough. Repeat and fade." Since that time I have felt just plain miserable, so some of what I had written here is pure bunk.

Yesterday I woke up and the sickness had moved into my nose. My capacity for thinking dwindles exponentially at the mere threat of sinus pressure. The actual event can render me absolutely useless. To make matters worse, all the fluid that had been happily gurgling around in my bronchioles was flowing out of my nose at a rate that made it impossible to replace my fluids. I tried to nap, but it was too uncomfortable. I tried to watch a DVD, but I couldn't concentrate. I tried to take a steamy bath, but I got too pruney and then I got a bad case of the chills.

At one point, my Dad called me up to ask me a question about taxes.

"Hulloh?" I croaked. Just barely.

"Yuck!" Said Dad, "You're sick. I don't want to talk to you now."

Now, luckily, I am fluent in Mike. It took many years, but I realize that this response is his way of saying "You are sick. Please, do not let me keep you from the recuperation process. Take care of yourself." Unfortunately the part of my brain that filters social interaction with non-familiars was also at work. I also thought, "Oh my God. He thinks I'm so contagious that he'll be able to catch this crap over the phone." Actually, he might have been thinking that, too. I had to get the phone-will-suck-my-brain-out-of-my-ear phobia from somewhere, and my sister's been swearing up and down that this isn't her fault.

So, yesterday I was too sick to make most of the following apply. To make matters worse, I ran through my entire arsenal of over the counter cold remedies by about dinner time. This meant that I drank hot toddies until sleep finally seemed like an option.

This morning I felt good enough to go to the Safeway to get some medicine and sundry groceries. As I was driving over there, I realized that my ears were plugged up and maneuvering a vehicle probably wasn't the best idea. As I walked around the store, I realized that by gosh, my ears are so clogged I can't even hear the easy listening. I go about my business and I end up in the cheese aisle. I look at the block of cheese, thinking about the ratio of the price of cheese to dollars in my wallet, whether or not I might qualify for government cheese, and cheese as a catalyst for phelgm. At this moment, the nice old lady that comes into Safeway at 8am to get her single stick of string cheese and a hundred bucks in twenties comes up behind me and started to talk to me about the recession. Let me tell you, I could not hear her approach at all, and it seriously made me question my capacity for bladder control.

Even though I couldn't hear anything, I made it home. And eventually I made it back to this blog entry. Without further ado...

I am sick. I'm not too surprised by this illness. Due to my innate domestic torpor, I accumulated a pile of dishes in the sink. Underneath the pile was a hospitable environment for some primordial ooze. I don't believe I am exaggerating too much when I claim that the goo had a pulse and, quite possibly, its own zip code.

Some people (Hi, Dad!) have a name for my ability to ignore the dishes: laziness. I call it a chronic disease frequently exacerbated by bouts of depression. Be that as it may, I can see how this current illness might have festered in the sink. I'm pretty sure germs like to hang out with primordial ooze and talk about important events in the microbial world. Perhaps the germs bore the ooze to death by gloating about their pathogenic qualities.

O, sickness. This means I swapped sitting around all day feeling miserable with sitting around all day feeling miserable. The difference is, now that I'm sick I can get things done. The dishes? All finished. The ooze? Ghostbustered. The pile of papers? Mostly conquered. The floor? Swept, mopped and vacuumed. The fridge? Cleaned out. The laundry? Halfway there.

These are things that I've been putting off for ages. My main excuse had been that I didn't feel good enough to get things done. Now, when I physically feel like a pile of hot, rotting garbage I've become a model housekeeper. I wash dishes after every meal, for chrissake! Who is this person.

I have a handful of theories as to why this might be:

1. The sickness has flipped on some sort of auto-pilot. In order to survive the disease, I must go through the motions of normal domestic upkeep.

2. You can only feel bad about one thing at a time: either the pithy state of your life or the burden of the sludge accumulating in your bronchioles.

3. Cleaning house is a lot more fun when you make cool rattling sounds with your lungs and your voice sounds like you're three cigarettes away from the tracheotomy.

4. One must make their outsides look better to make the insides feel better.

In other news, I'm making excellent use of my tea cozy.


Mead said...

Once again, K-Crow, our synchronicity astonishes me. I have been sicker than sin for several days now, but just today managed to get up and derive enormous satisfaction from doing a mess of housework! How weird is that?

Actually I think it has something to do with exerting control where you can, since your body's defeating you in other ways.

Plus here's a benefit derived specifically from visiting your blog just now: in the short story I'm working on, I've decided to name the wicked stepsister BRANCHIOLA. Thanks!

k. crow said...

I hope you feel better, Mr. Mead. It is astonishing how often our stars do align.

As a companion to Branchiola, may I suggest Pneumatica?

Mead said...

I actually did write a play once (a libretto, actually) with a character named Pneuma. The play was STOOPID -- that's my description, not its title -- but its always fun to come up with charactonyms.