Sunday, January 24, 2016

The song of coughs

Alas, I fear for my health. Perhaps clean living will save me. Perhaps all that healthful, frigid air I have been breathing on my long, bracing, bitter, outdoor Winter walks will bolster my immune system. It will need a lot of bolstering today because I am working in what sounds like a tuberculosis ward.

I am upstairs this afternoon shelving in the fiction wing of the library. Deep, rattling, phlegmy coughs create a kind of chorus all around me. Sneezes, roars, saws, and hocking. Oh the hocking! What are they going to with that when they do manage to dredge it up? What have they touched? Where have they been? I try not to touch my own now surely germ laden hands to my face, but I am afraid I never mastered the exotic skill of not touching my face. Just thinking about not touching my face makes me want to make sure my face is still there. I can't see my face. If only I could just grab my nose or something.

Cough, cough, cough, cough,
cough, cough, cough, cough,
cough, cough, cough, cough,
cough, cough, cough, cough.

I picture the head nurse at the Infectious Diseases Ward of the local hospital turning away yet another ill and hacking, terribly diseased patient.

"I'm sorry Ma'am. We're going to have to discharge you from the Infectious Diseases Ward."

"But why!" Cries the sick woman amongst horrible throaty hacks.

"I'm afraid you're just too infectious for us here at the Infectious Diseases Ward."

"But where shall I go." Moans the piteously sick patient. "Where will I take my ragged, incessant cough and all of my hideous gobs of thick brown phlegm?"

"Well," Replies the nurse thoughtfully "How about the library?"

Not a bad idea. They do seem to fit right in here.

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