Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ill Winds 

You sound really sick today, Daddy. You should take some pills or something.

Yesterday it was a cold, the full-blown worst of the season: sneezy, achy, chilly, brain-fog-to-the-point-of-hallucination, compounded by the irritation of dust and dander kicked up by a flurry of pre-guest cleaning until the lungs felt like fire, the head felt like cotton wool.

It drove me from the in-laws house to a surprisingly head-clearing trip to downtown Brattleboro, where I finished the last few pages of McCourt's Teacher Man over a latte, and ogled a man in a tree playing guitar to the aging hippies walking by, the usual crowds of halfgrown Saturday smokers loitering there, cool, backs against the bricks in the midtown lot.

But respite was short-lived. Last night it was something else again: stuffed and tired to the point of delirium, a hazy nose-bleeding two hours down south and home again, all funereal dinners quickly forgotten in the rush to return.

This morning it's full-blown bronchitis, a familiar and feared annual visitor. I can barely breathe; my limbs and head ache alternately icecold and feverfuzzy; the headache teeters on the edge each time I cough my penultimate rasp, desperately drawing breath. Hot showers, horseradish, even forced glasses of juice and water have little effect.

Five classroom days per section to the end of the semester and a wholesale changeover of students at work -- after two days funeral leave, it's tempting to go in tomorrow just to make sure their last days are cohesive, since my hybrid position rates no substitute willing to actually carry on curriculum. But alas, I know this weakness; know that tomorrow and perhaps the next day too I will be neither sensible nor clear for my students or myself. Pity, that -- there was so much left to do.

posted by boyhowdy | 3:33 PM |

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