I had meant to write about the weekend, the serving job, Mary’s ridiculously large truck and her parking prowess.
But all I can think about is how sick I am.
Settling into my throat and chest roughly an hour after the serving job, its now found a home just behind my eyes, right there, where it colors both how I look and how I see things.
Want to talk?
Want to watch a movie?
Think I should get up, maybe brush my teeth or fix my hair?
I press the heels of my hands into my eyes, a fight-pressure-with-pressure move that results in an explosion of black and red checkerboard that not only doesn’t feel as good as hoped for but results in shooting pains.
The phone rings. I close my eyes.
She laughs. “You sound funny. You sick?”
“Yes. No,” I say. “I don’t know. Shut up.”
She laughs again, the sound of elves stealing the good silver.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“My head is imploding. Or possibly exploding. It hurts to talk.” I sigh. “You’ll just have to wait for the pictures.”
“Sounds messy, either way,” she says.
“So here’s what you do,” she says.
“Mary. I’m a grown woman. I know what to do.”
“Shh. Shh,” she soothes. “Let me do my job.”
I go quiet. Sometime it’s just best to give Mary the lead.
“First you get some tea. Do you have tea?”
“I’m gonna assume you just nodded,” she says. “You have honey? Local honey is best. And lemon. You got all that?”
I cough several times, resulting in my eyeballs shooting out of my head and falling onto the carpet.
“I just coughed my eyeballs out.”
“Run ‘em under cold water,” she says. “They’ll be fine. You got Nyquil? Cold tablets? A hot water bottle?”
“Mm-hmm,” I say.
“OK. So you take the Nyquil, take the cold tablets – oooh, take ‘em with orange juice if you have it – and then crawl under a heavy blanket – no, four heavy blankets – and sweat it out.”
“Can I take a bath first?”
“Of course,” she says. “And then you go lay down.”
I close my eyes, let Mary’s voice wash over me.
“Yep,” she says, “that’s what you do. You go lay down.”
I smile, lay back on the couch.
“Shh. Shh,” she says. “Everything’s going to be okay.”