A couple weeks ago, my kickball division had a party. In the weeks leading up to it, the mid-season party was pretty much all I could talk about. My friend Rachel and I spent a good five hours in the Copley area looking for the perfect shirts to wear. I slept regular hours and tried to drink less - all so I could be in tip-top shape for the party.
And then I got sick.
I suppose it wasn't that bad a sickness. Just a niggling cough and stuffy nose and headache. But when I get sick, it will be just that - for a month! Miserable, horrible, kill-me-I've-forgotten-what-it's-like-to-breath-normally kind of sick. And so when this sick started four days before the party for which I'd been so well-prepared, I was pissed. I drank a gallon of water before I even left the house in the morning. Airborne tablets, horse-sized zinc pills, 10-hour nights of sleep. Two days of that and I still felt like trash.
"No," I said to myself, "I'm not going to get any better. That's the kind of pathetic and worthless sack of shit I am. I will go to the party with a tissue permanently attached to my red and chapped nose, nobody will want to talk to me, the Walking Plague."
But I was still going. I was helping to run it, and I was working the first door shift. I had to go. And my eyebrows were a mess.
I went across the street to the Northeastern local tanning salon, which had waxing services as well, and felt even more miserable and disgusting and ugly while surrounded by Northeastern barbie dolls who were waiting for their turn in the buzzing tanning beds. I was led into a back room (for the pasty ugly people, I'd figured), and had my eyebrows waxed. While the lady tweezed I had to sit upright and sneeze, like five times in a row. Afterward I was led out to the counter, where I paid. The girl asked me if I'd used their tanning beds before.
I had to laugh. "Do I look like I've ever seen a tanning bed before?"
"No," she admitted, "but we always have to ask."
Time out. I made a joke! And I laughed! This was not the same person who walked in. This was someone who was getting better!
I left the tanning salon with such a spring in my step it was like I was walking on a stairway of air. I could beat this nonsense cold. It had only just started, and I was already kicking its ass, I could tell.
And anyway, I was a human being, not some odious and snivelling splat of pond scum, worth bringing back to health.
Cold was gone by Friday morning, and better still, it hasn't come back. Take that!