I am generally a stoic person, rarely crying at sad movies and laughing hysterically when I hit my funny bone, as I run in panicky, pained circles. Blood does not horrify me, I have a high pain tolerance, and I typically refuse to say “Ouch” when in agonizing agony (such as when a toe is stubbed), choosing instead to growl through my teeth, while panting heavily. I detest giving pain the satisfaction. Therefore, it may be a shock when I confess this:
Colds turn me into a mewling, whiny baby, who is further gifted with a bass voice an opera singer would treasure.
I feel quite sorry for myself, lying in bed and having to count each breath as it wheezes through my congested self. I morbidly consider the very real possibility that I might die in my sleep because I only have two nostrils, and neither one seems to have any inclination to help out with breathing. I snuffle and wheeze, choke and gasp, wonder “why me?”, and overdose on coughdrops.
Dozing fitfully, I awaken at the slightest noise and give serious thought to killing the person who coughed two levels below me. Unable to sleep, I mournfully try to sing myself off to slumber but am distracted by my inability to hit any note above G below middle C, which seriously hampers a rendition of “My Heart Will Go On”. My eyes feel like smoldering embers, igniting a slow-burning flame through my entire body, and I reflect that though I have always wanted smoky eyes, this is not quite how I pictured them.
The bright spot in this sea of suffering is that I now have an unlimited time frame in which to satisfy my craving for books. While absentmindedly wiping my both runny and congested nose (How is that even possible?? Defying Gravity has got nothin’ on my proboscis), I have gasped my way through “Fahrenheit 451”, laughed and winced through “Screwtape Letters”, and snuffled through “Bridge to Terabithia”.
Don’t read that book when you have a cold. You won’t be able to breathe. Ever.
However, one can only read so long (thank you, smoldering embers for eyes), so one lays and longs for sleep. It’s an extremely vicious cycle, this neverbreaking three-twined strand of sleepiness, slow suffocation, and snuffling, but one that seems to have an insatiable appetite for long life.
However, it does allow one much time for thinking, which isn’t necessarily good because of one’s muddled brain, but I have come to one – well, several – conclusions:
That though I can snuffle all I want, others should be drawn and quartered for doing the same. That trying to hold back a sneeze only implodes God knows what through your foggy skull, and that vix vapor rub is a gift worthy of a Nobel Peace prize. That the idiot who called it a “common cold” must never have had one. That not being able to taste anything should nullify any calories one ingests, which is only fair, that singing bass is actually rather fun, and last but not least, that…
“I shall not die of a cold. I shall died of having lived.” ~ Willa Carther
Boom. Take that “common cold”. Deep philosophy in the maws of almost certain death by suffocation.