When I was a kid, my mother claimed to be able to look me in the eyes and know whether I was sick or not. Today, I’ve been stealing glances in the mirror, and searching my eyes for a diagnosis.
I have a tendency to run myself ragged, especially this time of year. It is what I call the “late November mind.” Maybe it’s something way back in my gray matter that triggers some sort of primitive harvest mentality. Maybe it’s an awareness that hibernation season is approaching. Maybe it’s just the way the calendar unspools.
Either way, I am sick. And the timing is not that unusual.
I felt a tickle in my throat weeks ago as I steeled myself against the coming marathon. I felt it last Monday, as I snuck away to dreams as Chris shot gunned us home from our Washington, DC, interviews. I felt it walking home in the rain Thursday night. And I felt it again Saturday, as I waited through a 36-hour weekend of Jay-Z coverage at work. Even as I rode downtown for the Buckeye show, I knew it was coming. I held it off, though, until crossing the finish line Sunday night. As soon as Chris and I loaded out of Marc Brown’s Tribeca loft, I let myself feel sick.
So here I am, upstairs in my sweat lodge of a bedroom. It feels quarantined. The air is sticky and sweet from water boiling on the stove. Everything is dusty and dirty, but I don’t have the energy to clean. I just sit, and write, and read, and watch “Superman” (of all things), and force Gatorade and chicken soup down my burning, bone-dry throat.
There is a lesson in all of this, I’m sure. There are surely some prophylactic measures to be taken. Less activity, more vitamins — something. I don’t have the wherewithal to discern any of that today, though. Columbus Avenue is closing. Macy’s is coming. There are balloons to inflate, pies to bake, and thanks to be had.