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Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Today I am sick.

In addition to being sick, I am ill. It's a "cold" - sore throat, headache, weariness, stuffy nose, convulsions, coma, death - that I caught from someone who was too proud to stay at home when they had it.

I, however, am not cursed with so much pride and am willing to call it a day under the thinnest pretexts. Slight fatigue? Sick - stay home. Mild forehead tension? Sick - stay home. Crushing despair? Sick - stay home.

In fact, I am so used to calling in sick with minimal symptoms, so used to living a hideous lie, that I sometimes am not sure if I'm sick or if I'm just faking it. This is the hard-earned result of years of ducking work and responsibilities by professing illness. As a little kid, it was a constant struggle to see if I could somehow concoct an illness which would sound plausible enough to get me out of school for the day - so utter was my loathing for all things scholastic.

These days I'm still trying to untangle the web of deceits that I call a personality. And on days like these, where I do have measurable symptoms, I try to bask in the feelings of illness, savor them, get a sense of what they really feel like, so that when they come around again, I will know for a fact that I am ill and not just lying to myself one more time.

Even as I write this, I still have nagging doubts - perhaps my reported symptoms are figments of my imagination, delusions. But then I can't think too, too deeply about it, otherwise I shall go mad, and then you have a madman with a snotty nose and headache lurching about, and who wants that? So today I shall operate under the assumption that my symptoms are real - despite my never-ending suspicions of self-deceit - and act in all ways as if I am genuinely ill.

Fluids, bathrobe, bed, aspirin, soup - these are the tools with which the diseased man doth minister unto himself, and these are those that I shall thus today employ. Achoo.

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