These past two weeks afforded me more than my normal yearly allotment of trips to Walmart, Target and B3. Seems each trip landed me in an aisle next to a youngster or an oldster that was coughing, sneezing and generally looking miserable. I’m ready to stereotype both the Youngers and the Olders when it comes to colds: they are equally willing to share their misery. And I’m also ready to judge both youngsters and oldsters as having taken a day of targeted sick leave, missing their required corporate safety training on the latest technique for sneeze containment: the bended elbow—that would be theirs, I mean.
When I get “sprayed” by a stranger’s sneeze (which happened three times in the last two weeks), I have to pay special attention NOT to release my own spray of words expressing--well, you know. “Bless you” is not what comes to my mind as I’m wiping away someone else’s liquid residue. I’ll give colds one credit: they level the playing field on the cuteness factor. Youngsters with colds are no cuter than oldsters with colds.
I’m guessing every hue-mawn hates having a head cold. I remember a college roommate who complained of gaining 10 pounds with each cold. She was a self-proclaimed chocoholic. I especially liked the brownies she baked when she was studying for an upcoming physics or math exam. But when she had a head cold she would go into her best chocolate creative overdrive: chocolate-chip cookies; chocolate pudding; chocolate fudge; and if she felt like it, those delicious chocolate brownies.
In terms of my own quirkiness, I hate having a head cold because I get depressed. I don’t mean the kind of depressed with the capital D that implies a clinical condition. I mean the lower-case type of depression that creeps up on me when I succumb to my cold’s tiredness factor and attempt an afternoon nap.
After a sleepless night of cold symptoms, I was surprisingly productive this morning, working on my dulcimer relationship. But after a carbohydrate-loaded lunch I could feel my stuffy head and nose pulling my body downward, convincing me that a nap was the answer for a speedy recovery:
And so it happened—as has happened since memory served me with each head cold. I closed my eyes, and gave over to that exhausted feeling that plays a special accompaniment to the head cold. I waited for sleep to come, convinced it would be a ready attribute of exhaustion. But no--my mind went where it always goes with a head cold: into an active overdrive that has nothing to do with chocolate creations. Seems every sad, painful and frustrating memory pops into my cold-infested head any time I try and take a rest. For some reason, the worst memories of my life are always the ready companions to my head cold’s call for rest.
I don’t know why depression invades my rest when I have a head cold, but it always does. And so it happened today. I won’t spray a laundry list of the broken parts of my life. A bended elbow won’t stop them, but you might think a bended knee could. Fair enough.
And so after 45 minutes of eyes closed, stumbling through the worst of memories, I got up, blew my nose and wiped some tears. I put on some John Prine, and decided to pound the keyboard, looking for a story that would help me fly away from this head cold:
Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel like going out in the field with my trusty 10x42s. Mother Nature always helps me tuck away those painful memories.