I’d like to think of myself as someone who excels at many different things.
But as my mother or anyone tasked with caring for me can tell you, being sick is not one of them.
I am battling a cold that seems to invade my body at about this time each year, and I am miserable to be around.
As a side note, I have been assured by those who operate our printing press that you are unlikely to catch my cold simply by reading this, so please put away the hand sanitizer and read on.
This cold always starts with a mildly sore or scratchy throat and ends with me in bed curled into a fetal position, watching “Hoosiers” and feeling pitiful and sorry for myself.
I simply have no patience for being sick.
I think it’s because I’m not sick enough to force any kind of introspection or a re-evaluation of what’s really important in life but also not well enough to go on living life as if nothing’s wrong.
I want these germs eradicated post haste, hence the separatist starter kit of cold and flu medicine on my bathroom counter.
I’m honestly not sure how hypochondriacs and those prone to psychosomatic ailments do it.
Being sick is the worst or, as it has been pointed out to me by family and friends, I’m the worst when I’m sick.
I wonder if this is the case across the animal kingdom.
Imagine a male lion sprawled out on the savannah, looking doe-eyed at the rest of his pride after ingesting some bad zebra.
“We all ate the same thing, Roy, and we feel fine. Stop being such a baby. Now come on, we’re going to go scare some idiotically dressed safarigoers. Are those guys serious? I mean, no one needs that many pockets on a vest.”
Being sick isn’t a dignified look for anyone, least of all for me.
There’s nothing regal about clutching a wad of tissues like it’s the Shroud of Turin or a box of cough drops like they’re individually wrapped pieces of hardened platinum coated with diamonds.
They may not be valuable, but tissues and cough drops are the only things keeping me from becoming something less than human — a sniffling heap of self-pity and frustration.
I’m hoping by next week to be feeling better but if I’m not, I’d brace yourselves for a list of my favorite brand of cough suppressant accompanied by a playlist of songs best sung with nasal congestion and sinus pressure.
In honor of my cold, this week’s column features songs in the key of sick.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be in bed, reflecting on the life I’ve lived thus far and watching “Raiders of the Lost Ark” for the fifth time today.
• Blind Melon, “Soup” — Everyone swears by the restorative power of soup. Not buying it. Doctors aren’t prescribing broth to treat influenza for a reason.
• Descendents, “Sick-O-Me” — I’m certainly getting there.
• We Were Promised Jetpacks, “Picture of Health” — Something I hope to be again. The sooner, the better.
• Young the Giant, “Cough Syrup” — I’ll take a teaspoon ... or an IV drip.
• Portugal. The Man, “Sleep Forever” — What I feel like doing.
• Broken Social Scene, “World Sick” — The world in which I am living right now. Cough drop wrappers are our currency. I’m doing pretty well for myself.
• M.I.A., “Bird Flu” — Haven’t ruled this out.
• Red Cafe, feat. Fabolous, “I’m Ill” — Seriously. OK, maybe not seriously. I’m slightly ill.