I used to boast that I never got sick, and it used to be true. I never, ever got sick. Joel would come down with a cold or two every year and I'd try to be sympathetic, but really I just didn't get it. How did people get themselves sick all the time? I figured I must have a killer immune system. Probably why I've never had a cavity or broken a bone, right? I have my fair share of ailments, I just didn't get sick.
That immune system, it seems, has retired to a sunny beach in Key West. For the past two or three winters I've been getting colds and stomach bugs and you know what, I don't like it. At all.
For example, take last week: for the first time in my life, I went home from work sick. I've called in sick before. Once, I started to walk to work, almost got hit by a truck crossing the street, and turned around and went back to bed. But I've never gotten to work, survived a few hours in the office and then had to throw in the towel. I made a bargain with myself: If I went from feeling like I might throw up to actually doing it, then I could go home. Otherwise, I'd stick it out.
An hour later, I was home. I spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch, feeling utterly miserable. Normally an afternoon to myself at home would be glorious; I'd either have a list of things I could accomplish (laundry! organizing!) or I'd revel in some Law and Order reruns and thoroughly enjoy being lazy. But when I'm sick, all I can manage to do is roil in my illness, and even that is no fun. What a miserable waste of time. I vote we do away with it altogether.
I was doing the dishes before going to bed the other night when I smelled the unmistakable odor of something on fire. Not the smell of something getting too hot or being overcooked, the smell of FIRE. Amusingly enough, my very first reaction was to look in the sink. Then looked to the stove to see if I'd somehow dropped a dish towel or other flammable object into the open flame, but all the burners were off so I whipped around, sure that one of the cats had pushed a grocery list or scrap of paper into the candle we had burning on the counter behind me, but... no. There was the candle, burning away, seemingly with nothing wrong. Except it smelled like FIRE.
Then I noticed Madison sauntering away with a billow of smoke rising from his tail. He often knocks things over with his tail and is generally a clumsy, uncoordinated oaf, but this is a new one. He set his tail on fire. And even better, I don't think he noticed. At least he pretended quite convincingly that he had no idea why I was holding him by the scruff of the neck while Joel wiped him down with a wet towel.
Never fear, he seems to be fine. In fact, thanks to his fluffy fox tail, once we wiped away all the singed fur and cinders, the chunk of missing tail was hardly noticeable. The burnt hair smell took a while to clear the kitchen, but I guess vacuuming will be a little lighter this week.