I've been walking around the the house for the last few days using and discarding more hankies than I've ever seen (this was difficult, because I basically had to decide between destroying a small wood for the sake of one cold, or deal with having to wash up all those icky hankies every day. I finally decided martyrdom suited my mood better). I blow my nose every now and then with great energy and marvel at the amount of stuff my sinuses are able to produce. I wear sweaters, make myself mugs of green tea and breathe stertorously when I'm not gasping for breath. Everywhere I go I carry with me the smell of eucalyptus oil and the sick room. I feel like a person who, in a high fever, is dreaming of the time they will recover and feel the way they're told persons with fever will feel: clear and light like a nourishing soup.
Which is why one day later, I'm overcome with indignation every time I think of my mother. I was in the kitchen making myself some jasmine tea when my son said something funny. I can't remember what it was (it wasn't that funny) but just to humour him and because I don't insist that everybody should only be thinking of me when I'm ill, I cracked a faint, brave smile.
My mother was overjoyed. "Today is the first day you're looking well," she exclaimed.
How did she made the leap from one travesty of a smile to wellness and disgusting good health? How? I'm deeply offended. I think I'm going to bring out the tiger balm today.