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Sunday, March 10, 2013
Well, I had a flu shot last fall. I am now in the throes of the flu during the first week of March.
I am so weak my arms will not stay in their sockets. My throat is so sore, gargling with battery acid will not alleviate it. Every time I cough, I get a new hernia in my stomach. And coughing causes me to cough.
I am a phlegm factory. My nose no longer exists for breathing. My face feels twice its normal size. I am fearful my head will explode and make a terrible mess.
The aching is so pervasive even the voids in my gums have toothaches. I know because my tongue investigates and finds the pain but no tooth.
My medications must be made of plastics because they are to no avail — just empty gestures. Do I have a fever? I do not know, because our thermometer is lost. Anyway, it is an anti-fever. When the cat walks by, he leaves behind a brutal polar wind.
Can toes be transplanted? I ask because I am sure they are frozen and falling off my feet. If so, why do they hurt so bad?
Yet, I have an appetite. What a terrible paradox! I eat and taste nothing. I eat only because I know I must. I can only try to remember the flavors.
Oh, my eyes! I’m not mourning, but they weep. So, I do not see well enough to hate television as much as I usually do. And the sockets in which they reside seem bent on poaching them with tears of steam.
Even my skin seems to be an alien thing. Don’t touch! I’m certain I am the first to bear a new plague.
Doesn’t science have anything that helps? Compared to me, zombies have it easy.
C.E. LYNN JR.
Editor’s note: Lynn, whose last letter ran March 3, anticipated a callous editor’s instruction to come back in a month, and pleaded: “I will not be around then.” Taking him at his word, we granted a compassionate exemption to the 30-day rule. Plus, with all due sympathy, we found his missive of misery very funny.
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