I hate breathing. At least for now. When i inhale, i hear an annoying whistle. (There’s another “W” word that’s more apt–whoozing, whizzing…aaargh, i can’t remember.) Each “whistle” summons childhood memories, mostly unwanted. The tossing and turning in bed, senseless intermittent dreams, aching neck and head propped against stacked pillows, the smell of rubbing alcohol, and–ah, like light at the end of a dark tunnel–the smile and soothing presence of Mama. Go ahead, call me a baby. This six-footer misses his Ma sorely.

Today, by my estimate, i coughed–more like barked… really terrible sound–at least a hundred times. When I wasn’t coughing, I sneezed like a 300-lb wrestler. Officemates eventually got tired of “Bless you”ing me. (Hey, i was awfully tired of achooing, too. But could i help it?). In the process, I have spread millions of pathogenic microorganisms, all of them programmed to inhabit a suitable host. Poor officemates. Pity the friends i ate dinner with. Woe to the passengers of the bus I took coming home. I’m a criminal!

Two coughs and a sniffle. Ahem. Make that two sniffles. Guess that’s my cue to stop typing and blow this now-rudolph nose yet again.

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