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The Unwelcome Guest by Helen Chappell

You can feel it creeping up on you. The itchy throat, the stiff joints, the headache, what my nurse practitioner calls the productive cough. Yes, it’s a cold! Oh, joy, oh, rapture. Science has found a cure or is working on finding a cure for almost every ailment that plagues humanity, but not even the Centers for Disease Control have figured out how to beat the common cold. I’d like to beat it. I’d like to beat it with a stick until it screams and begs for mercy. The sneezing and blowing of the nose are enough; I’m typing this barely able to sit upright, surrounded by a garden of used Kleenex. And the fun is just starting. As soon as I finish this, I’m crawling back into bed with a cup of tea and a fresh box of Kleenex. In a few hours, my mind will be as stuffed up as my nose, and anything even vaguely resembling rational thought, creativity or activity will be hibernating in the back of my brain. What’s left of my mind is going to be stuffed with nastiness that drives out everything else for the next couple of days. Maybe I’ll crawl out of bed around dinnertime and take a shot

of red wine, since I’m plain out of the bourbon my doctor father used to recommend. For kids, it was mixed with orange juice. I assume adults got a full shot, maybe two or three. If you were intoxicated enough, you could at least forget your misery. What I will want, when I have an appetite again, is Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and saltines, washed down with ginger ale. That’s what our mother gave us when we were kids, so that’s what I will want. I’m always interested in what comfort food people want when they have a cold. Generally, you want what you had as a kid, because that’s the rule. A friend of mine used to turn up his nose at Campbell’s Chicken Noodle. In his childhood, it was Instant Chicken 9

March 2017 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times March 2017

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