I have bronchitis. I know, who doesn’t? Don’t worry, I’m not looking for any sympathy. I gave up that dream a long time ago. Anyway, I woke up the other day, felt like there was a family living in my chest, went to work anyway, started coughing, everyone looked at me in disgust and fear and begged me to get the hell away from them, so I went to a doctor who said to go home and STAY home for two to three days, otherwise I’ll get pneumonia. I thought of disregarding the doctor. One, because’s he’s a friend of mine and wasn’t all that bright as a kid, and two, because I always wanted to try out pneumonia. Pneumonia sounds cooler than bronchitis. You get a reaction when you tell people you have pneumonia.
But I went home, got into bed and slept. When I woke up I saw my wife looking at me with annoyance which I converted in my mind to compassion. Just one more thing on her unbelievably full plate. But she did make me soup and told me to be smart and take care of myself. And then she vanished. So I figured I’d enjoy the break. No driving anybody anywhere, no chance of messing up at work. I’d watch some TV, maybe read a book. A sick vacation sounded perfect.
But then my daughter got sick. And ruined everything. The two of us, trying to outsick one another. But you see, I’m the dad. So I lose immediately in that war. Now I know I was feeling worse than she did, though you’d never believe it from the way she moaned. I love my little girl, and hate when she’s sick. Especially when I am!! We did bond a little, snuggled on the couch and watched TV. But once my wife came home we were like two hyenas in a bloody fight over a carcass. We both wanted “Mom” to take care of us. It was ugly, and for my part, a little embarrassing.
So after two days of that, I willed myself back to health and went to work. And in spite of the hateful stares of my disease-fearing co-workers, I was so happy to be there.