I’m not writing a column today. My head’s in a vice and someone installed wall-to-wall carpeting on my tongue. My eyes resemble those of the dead fish in my kids’ aquarium (Don’t worry boys, Mr. Fish Sticks is just taking a very long nap). My bones crackle when I move and my palms are sweaty.
My husband “the doctor” is not understanding at all. “Get out of the house,” he says.
“You get out!” I say.
“No, no, that’s not what I mean,” he explains. “Activity is good for what ails you. You should do something.”
So I kill him, which is really unfortunate because someone needs to walk the dog.
I call my kids together and tell them to stay out of trouble while mommy gets some rest. This is absolutely the wrong thing to say to children under any circumstance but my head is filled with cotton and there is a little man with a power drill behind my left ear. My kids love it when I’m sick. Their eyes light up and their little Cupid lips curl at the corners. It’s their opportunity to do things I would never allow them to do under normal, healthy conditions.
“Mom, can I take $50 out of your wallet, bike down the high speed lane of Rt. 1A with Joey the school punk and shoot paint balls at convertible BMWs?”
“OK,” I mumble from under my pillow. “Be home in time for dinner.”
My husband, eerily resurrected says, “It’s the common cold. You’ll live.”
“There’s nothing common about it,” I say, swallowing half a bottle of Benedryl and chasing it with some liquid Tylenol.
“It’s just the sniffles,” he persists. So I kill him again. But this time I wait until after he takes out the garbage.
I crawl downstairs to watch TV but run out of steam halfway there. I curl up in a nice, dark corner of the front hall closet, my head resting on the Electrolux.
A vision of my husband opens the closet door. “Why is it that when men are sick, you women say we are the biggest babies in the world and when you are sick it is the sickest sickness ever?” he asks.
“God, die already. Who are you, Rasputin?”
“Why don’t you put on a coat and go for a walk,” he says.
Still crouched in the closet, I search for his black cashmere dress coat and blow my nose on its sleeve. “Because I’m sick!” I tell him.
My husband pulls me out of the closet and tries to smooth the tangled hair in the back of my head. “C’mon, I’ll walk with you,” he says and leads me to the front door. His arm is steady and his chest is warm. He smells of cinnamon and pine. I breathe in his chivalry and embrace his kindness. This is what I need, just a little TLC from my soul mate. I agree to go but not before grabbing an ice pick from the bar, just in case.
So I am not writing a column. But I’m not writing a column. Still I’m not writing a column. See, I’m not writing a column today.