The New Year hasn’t been the productive spool of writing I’d imagined it would. Not yet, at least.
My return from London saw me carry back a slice of what was to become the winter freeze. Firmly lodged in my chest, this TB look-alike has ravaged the first weeks of the shiny new year.
I’ve spent the days chugging cough syrup and popping pills. One makes me dumb and drowsy; the other puts me to sleep. Take about being productive.
There’s no winter freeze here, but the weather has been downright moody. It rains, it snows, and then the lot of it melts into white-brown muck. Given the conditions, I prefer coughing indoors. When I do venture out, wrapped up and inflated in wool, I pop a dozen mints into my mouth to block the incessant coughing. I do it mostly out of vanity (who wants to be looked at as a highly contagious terminal element?) but also to maintain public order and peace (who wants to trigger a seemingly contagious episode?).
It’s a short term solution that seems to work. But when the mint supply ends, another hell awaits. The suppressed cough pounds its way out; I shake and roll like the subject of an exorcism ritual, maybe worse; my lungs and windpipes are on fire, and my head hurts.
Worse, any good idea that flits past the drugs is thrown right out with a swarm of angry spit. Instead of writing, I sit crumpled in front of the TV watching reality shows. The headache worsens.
I (try to) convince myself at the start of everyday that I just need to power on. Sit and be stubborn. Once the words come, the cough will subside to the background. Oh well. No, I’m not off to a racing start but then I’ve always liked the tortoise, haven’t I?