The Cookie Crumbles

OK, let’s review the pertinent details and nail this down.

·       I got a flu shot. Several weeks ago, certainly long enough to have earned its effect and besides, I don’t have the flu or know anyone who has.

·       I slept fine, I woke up fine. Everything was fine. I went to the bathroom, fed the cat, started the coffee, grabbed a cookie to munch on because I was hungry.

·       I noticed a tickle in my throat. I coughed. Thought it might be a cookie crumb. Coughed some more. Sneezed some. Coughed, sneezed. Repeated. Many, many, many times, to the point where I couldn’t take a breath without tweaking the tickle and coughing.

·       The tickle remains. Tickle is not a good word but we use it. It’s an irritation. It could be an irritation from a cookie crumb. I could have aspirated a cookie crumb, in fact, although I’m not sure what that feels like. This feels like a throat tickle, which is rarely a good thing.

·       I sat next to a lady on Wednesday night for a couple of hours, right next to her, who seemed ill. Cough, the usual.

Otherwise, we’re good. I feel a little tired. I’m tempted to look back on past months of griping about summer colds, etc., but there are too many variables. Write about the trivial details of your days long enough and you can find all sorts of patterns that might not actually exist.

In fact, looking back, I just had the one episode of about 10 days of a cold-like illness, not exactly laying me low but worth considering a medical opinion for a bit until it obviously petered out.

And then the stomach virus thing that crashed my 60th birthday, but that’s a black swan sickness as far as I’m concerned. It jerked my immune system into gear and I honestly have no idea if that happens with food poisoning or if it was just a bad day, but it passed, too.


So all we’re looking at is what I assume is either a bad cookie experience or the onset of an upper respiratory illness that doesn’t seem serious at all, just annoying and coming only a few days before I leave for Texas. Must prepare my isolation chamber. Since I’m a hard-boiled cynic about over-the-counter remedies (lozenges I will take), not to mention the Airborne-style scams, I’m thinking just liquids and anti-inflammatories and I’M STILL GOING TO TEXAS. I may wear a mask. I’ll be fine, though.

I will. This is strange and I’m still not convinced it’s illness and not just a reaction to the cookie. They’ve just never turned on me like this. Not sure how I feel about that.

So I missed church for maybe the second time in the past year, not counting a couple of weekends away with the Rev. Missus. I feel a little guilty. I’m the only baritone.

I did make bread last night for today’s communion. I mean, I washed my hands. I baked it for nearly an hour. Still. What’s the baking equivalent of Typhoid Mary? Mrs. Lovett, maybe.

I dunno. I didn’t get outside as much, and maybe fresh air is what it’s cracked up to be (if you’re curious, in the late 1700s the term “cracked” was a slang synonym for “pre-eminent” or “important,” as in “He was quite the cracked merchant.” Or, maybe more familiar, as in “He was a crack shot.” Ergo this weird expression).

Obviously feverish and hallucinating now. I probably only have a few minutes left.

One of the things I’m looking forward to on this Texas trip is perhaps spending an hour or so with my long-time friend (someone referred to these internet relationships the other day as “electronic friendships,” which I kind of like. Basic. Not as vague as “virtual”) Gordon, who only lives about 5 miles away from my daughter. Surely there’s a coffee shop halfway. It’s nice to be in the same city.

I do appreciate my electronic friends more and more, although that definition is getting a little fuzzy. I have electronic family now, really. My immediate family is mostly on the west coast (one cousin lives in Virginia and I haven’t seen him in over 20 years), but we rarely see each other. We have Facebook and Instagram, and that’s certainly a blessing, but again—at some point it gets murky.

Gordon and I in Austin a couple of years ago (left) and Liz/Lizardmom and me in Boston (2008).

Gordon and I in Austin a couple of years ago (left) and Liz/Lizardmom and me in Boston (2008).

Take my friend Liz, who lives in Sweden. I’ve mentioned her several times, and mostly because she’s been a consistent reader and commenter for, I guess, 15 years now. We managed to be in Boston one week at the same time, and spent a lovely evening with my daughter and her husband (and Lizardmom, Liz’s mother, another lovely person), but that’s been it. I feel as though I know a lot about her husband and kids, but we’ve never met and who knows? Maybe never will. But I admire and wish them well from this peculiar communication.

But, again: Murky. In the beginning, I suspected that these long-distance, internet-only relationships were somehow deficient, superficial, hardly more significant than sending an email to a congressman, but I was very wrong. Communication is communication.

There are times, in fact, when I’m tempted to use the power of technology to up this cybercommunity game. Facebook and Facetime have already begun allowing multiple simultaneous video conversations, and Skype has been there awhile. I’m curious as to whether this would be fun, awkward, interesting, dull, or some combination. We would all have to comb our hair, I think.

Anyway. My throat is now sore, I’m a little lightheaded, I’m drinking a bunch of water, and I may just settle down and watch some football or read a book or make some more donuts. I’m starting to develop a philosophy of life (about time), and somehow I think donuts are becoming a big part. I will, as always, update.


Chuck Sigars2 Comments