Remember that gnarly throat picture of last post? Even though that picture was from last year, I’m that kind of sick again. Can’t quite kick the cough. Kelly, who was sick for our entire Turkey trip is still battling her cough as well back in Fort Worth, and this has caused me to contemplate where I might like to be nursing my cold right now. I’ve come up with my ideals:
1. On the green couch at my parent’s house. Tivoed Survivor episodes and chips and dip lulling me into a couch coma. Dad coming in the house with grocery bags, one of which holds some echinacea tea and box of aloe-treated tissues. Home.
2. Seattle Greys. This, of course, has everything to do with my inability to sleep the last couple of nights and therefore my ability to marathon the first season of Grey’s Anatomy. This also has everything to do with my wanting to be in a fantasy hospital full of beautiful people and a few minor traumas. The guy with the cheating wife and the hidden ovary would quickly make me forget about my sore throat. And maybe Izzy would bake me something.
3. Kolkata, first building on the left after the Tamil slum by the train station in Dum Dum Cantonment, Shaji and Beena’s place. I have been sick there twice in my life. The first time completely smashed my notions of hospitality and care. When I was in college I thought that someone showing up at your house with a grocery bag full of canned soup and some Kleenex was a big deal. But when I caught some monsoon season flu in Kolkata, Shaji and Beena took me into their home. They called up their doctor to come see me. They made me a pallet on their livingroom floor, shared their meals with me. And at night they covered me and pot of hot water under a sheet, letting me breath in the steam while they sat around me and talked. They became a second family to me during those late night steam baths, and let me tell you, they know how to take care of a sick person.
4. Right here, as it turns out. Armenia and India are similar in this way. Being sick in America is an isolating experience. Being sick in Armenia or India is communal. My landmom came over and fixed up my bed with another mattress to help me sleep at night. My friends at work came armed with medicine, herbal tea, and rasberry muraba to battle my illness. Their constant inquiries as to my health, the constant offerings of traditional remedies like a swig of lemon tea, the application of a vodka rub all over my body, or even stuffing my nose with vodka soaked cotton, they all seem to be a great effort to try to make me feel better. It’s like their sickness is my sickness. A simple idea with some profound follow through.
A while back my brother sent me a desk-sized Gonzo (because he knows me), and the Clooker rearranged them this week to show me some love (because turns out she knows me, too.)