A few weeks ago, I was at the doctor’s office when I decided to get a flu shot. It made me feel light and airy but also semi-indestructible. The sore upper arm muscle at the injection site reminded me that I now had an extra immunity, and it made me brave. I dared the sniffly to sniff upon me and rejected hand sanitizers all together. It was this flu-hubris — flubris, if you will — that caused me to end up in bed for the past 2 days. I was playing with fire hanging around the cold-stricken and eventually I got burned.
A quick search on WebMD today indicated that I had the symptoms of both the flu and the common cold and that meningitis was a real possibility. I would have called the advice nurse or something sensible, but all my body parts seemed to have been filled with bricks of lead. All tidily piled inside, most notably in my upper back, near my neck (the meningitis was having a party), in my arms and in my legs. In my head, a really angry teenager with long hair and bad skin played the snare and followed it up with lots of maddening crash cymbal action. When I asked him politely if he might be able to take it down a notch, perhaps even just to give us a bit of rhythm on the high hat, he shoved his drum sticks through my nasal cavities. And this makes it difficult to breathe properly (aka quietly through my nose), so that at night I believe Alan must have nightmares about Darth Vader coming to bring him over to the dark side.