Last night finally yielded some sleep, the warm delicious kind that comes and bowls you over and you succumb to it with a smile. I still have the cough, but now I am hawking up globules of pistachio pudding (that is if Jackson Pollock were to interpret the said pistachio), and feel perhaps 20% better. Why quantify it at 20%? Because I feel somewhat better, marginally, and feel the will to live springing back, like a small pine tree buried under thew weight of feet of snow.
I got to sleep in today. Bless those heavy drapes Melissa bought a year ago last spring! I climbed out of bed, noting how my nose felt like so much shoe leather, brushed aside the pile of tissues on the floor and made my way into the kitchen. I put on a pot of water to boil, not for tea, but for recharging the heat in the bathtub, seeing as how it is cast iron and cools the water in it quickly. I walked away from the pot, and nearly into Melissa, she coming in the back door from taking pictures of the kids out in the early snow, She agreed to bringing the hot tea kettle down when it was ready and I retired to the tiny broom-closet of a bathroom we have downstairs.
The water was hot, amazing. I slowly lowered myself into it, grinning at the though of a metaphor--the one about deliberation and care--like a fat man easing himself into a hot bath. I am about 15 lbs overweight and know it, and the irony of the situation made me laugh, then cough uncontrollably for about 2 minutes.
Hot water is a gift from on high! I slipped under the surface of the water, tucked fetal in my body shape in order to fit the cramped confines. Hot water on sore ear canals is, I decided, one of the most underrated feelings in the world. Definitely under appreciated, and considering the average adult misses two work days form this virus per year, should be on the list of appreciated things.
I was pondering this and much more while in the water--the phenomena of time getting stretched out due to the limiting factor of a cold. It seems that all else falls off into a remote pain filtered interest, and only immediacy is present, crashing down like a great ice shard and washing out all else through an imperfect lens.
I sat and contemplated how the tub spigot looked like a proboscis monkey with stalk eyes and a snorkel (the shower head running from the spout and up to where the head rests in a cradle, actuated by pulling up a knob and routing the water up the snorkel tube and out the shower head). I thought too about my children as I could hear them carousing upstairs , full of life. Thankfully they, save for Miles, haven't been exposed to this tough strain.
Melissa came with the teapot then and my mind went blank in the newly hot water, only feeling the comfort of it, and listening to the whoosh of my breath through the weird amplification of the bathwater. I don't know how long I sat there then, time meant nothing, Melissa was there again, and I jumped, startled. She poured the teakettle of hot water in again and I thanked her, refusing another, luxuriating again in the water with a blank mind until it cooled, and I arose to take a shower, lightheaded.
She came again as I was showering, my movements slow and deliberate, my head woozy from lying in the water, I talked with her in whispers, afraid to set off another round of coughing. I yearned for the time when I could speak again, not realizing how verbal a creature I really am. Studies show stereotypical males say a half to a third of what females say in a 24 hour period, I wanted to shout and sing at that moment, instead finding my voice a weak whisper, tried to make up for the lost words and bring myself back to the proper ratio. It of course didn't work, I fell into a fit of coughing, and Melissa joined me, for what person with a cold can hear another cough and resist the growing itch in their own throat?
The air outside the bathroom was cool and felt good, I made my way upstairs, regretting that my sweatpants and hooded sweatshirt were dirty, instead I dressed in a pair of blue jeans and a long sleeve shirt, layered over with a grey wool sweater, and finished with socks.
I watched a lot of TV last night, afraid to sleep as we were out of NyQuil. Melissa had promised to bring me some after her shift at Archivers, which ended at midnight. I watched Mexican infomercials, "Man versus Wild", the news, and some political TV. I was most fascinated by the Mexican infomericals, some had superimposed Stereotypical Mexican folks sitting in on the product blurbs. One had a overweight lady, her face lined by frown lines, and a cigarette with the worlds longest ash stack on the end. The camera panned between her and an blonde oohing American girl, suggestively comparing the two, and I marveled at the contrast. I also marveled at the speed at which they made pesto. Amazing! Yet I still didn't pick up the phone, or my wallet.
So here I am, 20% better, still hacking, but this time wetly, and wondering how long this will take to move on through. I dread the Dr visit, but if my ears feel no better by Monday I am going in. He'll prescribe me antibiotics, and I'll take them, faithfully until the last one is gone, then wait for the cough to pass too in a few weeks.
On the up side of this whole thing, I am no longer cursing the cold. I have moved to the acceptance phase of it, grudgingly allowing this ill mannered bedfellow some time until it moves along to the next person. These colds really should come with a list, in chain-letter format, of who has had it. That would be cool.