Blessed are the sick of throat, for they shall have villainous voices. I remember in Sunday School the biblical list of Blessed Are verses were called the Beatitudes. I’ll call this one a Be-sass-itude.
Good Monday, readers.
I remain unwell (sick). It’s been a long time since I was this unwell. I spent a long night tossing and turning and although I know I slept some because I dreamed about camping, I woke feeling more tired than before I retired. When I finally peeled myself off the sheets I looked into the mirror and laughed. This set off a coughing fit, of course, but it was worth it. I thought to myself as I beheld my image, “Wow. It’s a good thing my selfie project is finished.”
When my friends Mama Love and Baby Love took a trip to Alaska they brought me back this mask crafted by one of the local natives. Today I bear a striking resemblance.
I look gorgeously ill. After my coughing hysterics subsided I extending my mirror-gazing a little longer. I couldn’t resist. I wanted to admire how sick and tired and I look today. I gazed not in horror. Not in dismay or disgust. I marveled at how perfectly sick my reflection reflected me. I look amazingly sick. Spectacularly sick. I have it all. The eyes, skin, the hair, the pale, the red, the swell. It was as if a movie makeup artist had been directed to create the ultimate face of sickness on a middle-aged woman and absolutely nailed the assignment. I say again, I am gorgeously ill.
And my voice! Yesterday I called it husky harlot. Today, not so much. It’s not sexy today. You know the voice in the phone when a victim in a movie gets a call from the bad guy and he has disguised his voice with some kind of electronic gizmo that makes him sound even more menacing? That’s my voice today. If I called you and gave you explicit instructions on where to meet me and what to bring and what would happen to my hostage if you called the police or didn’t come alone, you’d believe me and comply. You’d do exactly as I said. I sound supremely scary. When I called my kitty to breakfast she cried and ran away.
This is part of my self-healing regime; celebrating all the things we get to do when we are sick. Do you hear me? We get to do them. We get to look awesomely awful. We get to slob around in pajamas. We get to lay around like slugs. We get to be lazy and messy. We get to blow off workouts and chores. We get to look bad, sound bad, smell bad, and behave badly. It’s a holiday from being a well-groomed, well-spoken, well-mannered human being. It’s like being a zombie extra on The Walking Dead. A mucus monster; slimy and oozing and gross and no one gets to complain or demand that we do otherwise because we might cough or sneeze on the unfortunate person who so dares. Mwahahahaaaa!
The weekend is over though and I’ve got to go back to work today. I don’t get to call in sick. My boss just got over this same sickness and she did not miss a single day. I don’t get go to the doctor either. It’s January and my annual deductible is $5300 (not kidding). But I’m still choosing to focus my perspective upon the things I get to do rather than the things I don’t. Today I get to take the cold medicine I’ve been saving for the occasion. I get to blame all missteps and flub-ups on germs or the side effects of germ warfare. I get a pass on sub-prime productivity. I get some slack on account of being sick. I get the bliss of everyone keeping his or her distance instead of jumping my case or riding my ass.
On days like this I’m grateful that I work at a desk pushing papers all day. I wouldn’t be able to chop down a tree today or save a family from a burning building. I wouldn’t be able to cook quinoa and kale for the lunch rush today. I wouldn’t be able to teach math to a classroom full of ten-year-olds. I couldn’t lobby Congress for legislation, perform a liver transplant, or install a new transmission. I couldn’t take down a combative prisoner or rush for a first down today. We go live on the air in five minutes? Not me. Not today. Maybe tomorrow or the next day, but not today.
Today I am blessedly well-suited to paperwork, a few phone calls, and silent spreadsheets. I get to work in a chair, indoors, with blissfully low-tech implements like staples and toner and manila file folders. Thank you, Universe, that I get to be sick in an office today. I can drink hot tea and moan and look out the window when my brain gets murky and muddled. I can lay my head on a lunch table for 30 minutes and nothing bad will happen. My powers of communication can be reduced to grunt, nod, shake, point and everyone will understand just fine. My silver linings are paper clips. My silver linings are silver bindings.
Paper clips are made from galvanized steel wire. Steel is iron, carbon, and zinc. Iron, carbon, and zinc are natural to the Earth and natural to the human body. The paperclip and I are chemical cousins. We are elements. We are stardust. We are kismet. As I hold the paper clip it holds my place in the Universe. It binds me to this place of perfect synchronicity for my season of unwell. I get to be sick today. I get to be sick here, in this place, in this country, in this vocation, with these advantages and privileges and prerogatives. I get to replenish my immunity here. I get to recover here. This time and space for my illness is generous and gentle while so many around this planet get far less than I’ve got today.
Complain? Not on your life. Not on my life. I am in sickness heaven today.
I am gorgeously ill. I am richly convenienced. I am exquisitely grateful.
— Hula Headlight Pitchblende
(high deductible health plan)