Feb 2018 09

Some cold medication-induced musings on the art of being sick in the modern age.

As I sit here in bed, coughing, and my body decides to put mucus production into wartime-factory-like overdrive, I realize I don’t know how to be sick anymore.

To just lie here and do nothing. I can’t do it.

When I was 8, I knew how to be sick. Had it down to an art. Reached the zenith of accomplishments in that field at a young age.

In fact, I’d even fake being sick once in awhile just to get out of going to school and having to be with so many people. Even back then, I knew ‘people’ just weren’t my thing. I wanted be alone. I wanted quiet.

BTW, I’d fake being sick by manipulating the thermometer. My mom would put an old school mercury thermometer in my mouth and she’d leave the room. Then I’d rub it briskly over the bedsheets to create some friction to heat it up, put it back in my mouth, and voila – a fever. I tried putting it on a lightbulb once but a potential 120 degree fever would’ve put me into ‘ambulance’ territory and I had to shake out the thermometer, aborting the mission.

A glass of ginger ale on the table next to the couch I’d lie on. It had a fork in it to get rid of the fizz.

The sound of a ticking clock, from one flight down in the dining room.

A stucco ceiling above me that I’d imagine was the surface of the moon, and I’d traverse in a little rover to see what’s was beyond the next peak.

And if was well enough to watch, 11:00 was The Price is Right and hopefully Plinko or the Mountain Climber Yodelling guy who I always secretly hoped would pitch himself right off the side.

But mainly, there was just being alone with your thoughts.

And boredom.

I used to love being bored. Now, who has time for it? It’s going extinct.

This is my first time sick in a couple of years – I could credit ‘clean living’, but really I think it’s just avoiding the TTC – and luckily I have a break in my schedule to really just give into it and retreat to bed.

After this, I’ll turn off the computer, the phone, the tablet, the music and just lie here. But I could use some lessons from my 8 year old self. What would he do?

Perhaps he’d really examine these Japanese curtains hanging in the room. They have a fascinating cherry blossom pattern on them.

Perhaps it’s a perfect afternoon to become a bee.

When’s the last time you were bored?