Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snot Wins

There's a moment when you're beginning to feel better from a virus that you're not quite better yet. Television bores you. You're still a mouth breather, but for a moment, you start thinking of all the things you need to do, the pile of stuff that didn't get done when you were sick and you are going to be hit with when you get up from the damned couch. Your butt aches from sitting on the couch so long. Your eyes are gummy bloodshot marbles in your head and you've mostly listened to all twelve episodes of 'This American Life' because you began to have bad dreams about the scooter and life alert. You'd already watched all of the NOVA episodes during previous viruses along with Dr. Who and Downton Abbey. You no longer call it Downtown Abbey but does that really mean you're smarter than the people who do?

You stand up to get a cold Perrier and for the first time in three days, your left nostril opens. Momentarily, it feels like a caterpillar is crawling around in there. Wouldn't that be a horror flick? Right. They did that. Was it Dune? Your mind isn't clear, but the sensation gives you the creeps.

And then your nose begins to run, faster than you can get to the tissues to catch it. The tissues are in the living room next to the spot you've inhabited for the past three days. Gross. As you throw down the unopened Perrier and are running for the tissues, snot goes down your lips and onto your cupped hand. You can only blow on one side of your nose, but what a relief. You experimentally breathe in and out a bit, but the worm moves. Remember the worm? So you go back to being a mouth breather, go back into the kitchen, wash your hands, and look at the pile of dirty dishes your family has so conveniently stacked on the counter for your return.


You begin by emptying the top rack of the dishwasher. It was loaded wrong and that rice pot should have been rinsed out. Still, a human other than you ran a load of dishes while you were as much as gone. Only three things need to be scrubbed and rewashed. It isn't bad, but before you're finished with the top rack, your nose begins to run again.

And you didn't remember to put a spare tissue into your pocket. You'll try to remember that as you run to the box in the living room again. Snot wins. What a mess.

You blow, toss the tissue, wash your hands, and go back to unloading the top rack of the dishwasher. You're stacking seal-able plastic containers that never seal when it begins again. Pocket? No tissue. Run, drip, blow, toss, wash, and go back to stacking seal-able plastic containers that don't seal. And then you unload the glasses. Somehow, with all the free mugs, canteens, and inherited cups, yours don't quite fit into the cabinet without being organized a certain way. You're ruminating about other people's perfectly matching glass glasses with room to spare in beautiful new cabinets when your nose begins to run again. Fine. You have a tissue in your pocket. You win.

But only for a moment because this job needs more than one tissue. Snot wins again. You run, stuff four spares, blow, toss, wash, and go back to the dishwasher. This is getting exhausting. You're about to gather silverware when your breath hitches. You quickly toss them back into the dishwasher. Three spoons and a fork fall onto the floor. A dirty floor. Damn. You stand up and grab the counter so you won't accidentally pee yourself. Kegels, ladies, stoplight kegels. Or you can do them when you're talking to boring people. You haven't been in a car for three days or spoken to anyone but your family and every other muscle has become flaccid and weak.

You grab the wad of tissues out of your pocket and you sneeze. It's a serious sneeze, but you hold your water. However, you don't manage to get that wad of tissues away from your face without goobers all over both hands. And your ribs? Why are your ribs so sore? It feels like you've been doing stomach crunches.

It's all the sneezing.

At least you've gotten some exercise. Right?

Snot wins another point. You toss, wash, and go back to staring at the dishwasher. Fuck the dishwasher. You shuffle back to your spot on the couch to see what's on TV.

On the way, your nose begins to run again. You reach into your pocket. No tissues. Snot wins, folks. Snot wins again.

Thank you for listening, jb

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