Wednesday, November 28, 2012

i seem to be overtaken by responsibiility

Or: 50 Shades of Illness

I've always envied literary characters who die of consumption.
They always waste away in the most beautiful fashion, with style and grace. Also, consumption sounds so much more poetic than tuberculosis. Tuberculosis sounds like an uncomfortable vegetable. I lack all form of grace or style when I get sick. My nose turns Rudolph-red, and I start perspiring like a horse. I look like how I feel inside: which is poorly.

Last night, I was sweating and fanning myself like a Southern Belle on a July afternoon in Georgia. After listening to the women-folk discuss hot flashes on Thanksgiving, I was convinced that it was an early onset of menopause (which, if you think about it, at the age of 21, is one of the worst fates imaginable). Also, my inner hypochondriac tends to manifest itself in moments of even the least discomfort, and I automatically assume the worst. Like the time I was at dinner with a friend and his parents, and I was stricken by acute stomach pain. I ended the evening on a gurney, receiving a CT scan for my imaginary appendicitis. But a girl can never be too careful.

I have a case of the sniffles. But not delicate, I'm a nineteenth-century-literary-heroine-and-I'm-sniffing-daintily-into-my-lace-handkerchief kind of sniffles, I have the oh-my-gosh-there-is-a-veritable-Amazon-River-of-snot-coming-out-of-my-nose-and-I-am-absolutely-incapable-of-stopping-it kind. I also don't sneeze delicately. Some girls do. Their sneezes are little mice-like chirrups. The gale force winds generated by my sneezes rival Hurricane Sandy. (too soon?)

There is nothing more disheartening than a steady stream of mucus coming out of your nose. 
I take that back: there is one thing more disheartening: having a stuffed up nose.
So spirit, breath, and soul are all from the same word: spiritus. I think the ancients were onto something. There is nothing more dispiriting than not being able to breathe right.
It makes my whole body starts to feel like a wilted little leaf.

Wilt: Oxford English Dictionary definition: to become limp through heat or drought.
Wilting is what happens when a plant is denied its source of life. The body needs breath, its life, or it falls sick. The soul needs the Spirit, its life, otherwise it will get all soul-sick.
Before I found myself falling into a state of sickness yesterday morning, I found myself falling into a state of crabbiness. I was feeling heartsick.
And as much as I'm sure my neighbors in class would rather I remain heartsick or soul-sick and stop sniffling, I'm rather relieved that the sickness has moved out of my heart and into my runny nose and over-zealous sweat glands.

Pardon me while I go scrounge up some chicken noodle soup.

1 comment:

  1. Sickness of any kind is no fun.... praying for you, dear!