over the hump, I thought

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Day 9 — 9? — of Flu 2014, and I finally think I’m going to live!
I feel less awful, which is substantially better than only one day ago when lifting my head upward seemed impossible.
So all morning I’ve been toodling around work, doing actual work-like things, feeling more than ennui about life in general, and thinking, “I’m gonna live.”
Five minutes ago, a customer walked through the door, perused the shelves, found a couple of slim volumes to read through the Christmas holiday, and ventured to the counter for checkout.
I rose from my perch in the Work Space of the Back Room, and walked to the counter where I plopped into the comfy roll-y chair and proceeded to check out the patron and not two seconds into the exchange, she laughed under her breath and remarked, “You look really tired. Are you…sick?”
Every particle of breath left my body, my muscles enervated, my hand fell open and dropped the now heavy Barbie book, and all life drained from my soul.
“Yes,” I muttered, and finished the transaction, shooing her with my brain to hustle out the door before I sent laser rays from my now weakened eyes and disintegrated her.
She didn’t hustle.
I think she knew from my exhausted visage that she was in no danger from ray guns or violence of any kind at all.
Now I’m telling people I’m sick again.
It’s easier.

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it’s day six and still hope springs eternal

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Day 6 of Round 2, Flu 2014 and I’m in the high pitched whining mode. I sound like a leaking balloon.
I haven’t been so sick in years and everyone around me knows it. They must suffer, too; misery, and company, and all that rot.
So I was sitting behind the circulation desk today, looking and feeling like the librarians of my youth, the nightmarish ones, and not caring a whit about it — in fact I was trying to breathe shallowly, so as not to cough; I was puffing my inhaler like it was one of those candy cigarettes of Yore; I eschewed talking, as anything more than grunting or low whistles creates a brackish phlegm and ensuing sputter — when a lady I shall call Miss Fresh and Breezy of December walks in.
She is a regular at the library and immediately she knew of my woe.
“Oh,” she groaned, her smile fading to nothing, “You have what I had last week.”
“A strong will to die?” I muttered, shallowly, oh so shallowly.
“Yes.” She agreed too readily.
I peered upward, hopeful for a sweet moment. Did she? Did she know?
“Yes,” she said again, knocking on the desk with one hand and propping her other on a rakishly slung hip as only well people can do. (Ill people like myself need to stay straight upright, both feet firmly landed, no angles; angles can be deadly when dizziness strikes.)
Eagerly I looked up into her shining, happy, pinkish cheeks, her glittery hair wet with sprinkles from outside, a glow radiating health and wellness from her stinking pores.
“I had it last week. By day four I thought I was dying,” she started as I violently nodded agreement, “And on day five I thought, ‘huh, I might live’.”
She tsked, tutted even more with sympathy, while keeping a five foot distance, of course.
“You mean,” I clarified, “I might possibly not die? And not die by as soon as tomorrow?”
She nodded.
“But…I wrote my will,” I told her, showing her the scrap paper I found in a drawer at my elbox. “‘Please bury me in these clothes, as they’re comfortable, haven’t been washed in six days — don’t judge me — and if you touch my skin I’ll scream in agony even though I’m dead and you’ll deal with my pained ghost forever.'”
“Rip it up, honey, you won’t need that will!” She cackled, gleefully. She was a pixie, a sprite of newness and energy, and I took heart.
Granted, I lagged her time frame a bit. After all, I’m on Day 6 and Dying, while she was on the Fix by 5, but I’m ever hopeful.
Even just this evening, while gassing up my car because it absolutely insisted, unless I wanted to push it to work in the morning, I felt a hint of renewed something. I shan’t go so far as to call it vigor, as a major coughing fit right there at the pump made me regret not buying Depends for Christmas, but it was a glimmer, a break in a dark bank of clouds.
If only I can sleep tonight, perhaps that will be a sign that I, too, can look radiant and chipper as Miss Fresh and Breezy of December at least by January.
Here’s hoping.
And I’ll drink Nyquil to that.

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is there a mouse maiming jail?

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While reaching for the honey roasted Peter Pan buttery goodness, I was startled to find a mouse fall from the cabinet.
A trapped mouse, mind you, his neck stuck in a D-Con I set weeks ago because I wanted to keep my peanut butter all to myself, thank you so much mouse kingdom, and then forgot all about.
So here’s the situation: this trapped mouse is not actually dead. It’s flitting, and scurrying, and trying to free itself from the metal guillotine in which it finds itself. What, does it have two airways? How does a mouse, barbelled by doom, find itself still breathing? Does it have a tiny paw clutched in there somewhere, bravely pushing upward against the downward force and turning out to be the hero, like Bruce Willis in every film ever, screaming, “Yippee-ki-aye, mouse-y farmer!” in the face of death?
Plus, I have three dogs sitting at the door to the kitchen, watching the mouse scoot its beleaguered way across the tile. They are unconcerned, uninterested, bored by it all; they are numb to death. I’m sure the mouse is saying, “A little help here?” to his audience and they just sniff snootily and snort a bit as they wait for whatever comes next.
Which should be a hammer blow to the head.
Shudder.
Instead of bucking up and doing the livin’-in-the-country right-thing-to-do, I’m whining to you as though you will come and cart away the unstill corpse of my latest kitchen mishaps so that I don’t have to.
And if you do come this way, can you grab a Starbucks for me? That’d be fabulous…
Sigh.
I still hear him flitting in there…

Update: Ahem. I am chagrined to admit…that the mouse was trapped by the shoulder and head, thus allowing him adequate airway to stay alive for another … three hours … and long enough for me to get home from obtaining the Bubs at school plus a stopover for a festive after school beverage.
With Bubs in the house, I needed to man up and take care of the sitch-y-a-shun. Mostly because Bubs was near tears and the dogs had fallen asleep and still the varmint fluttered between the baseboards with a giant piece of wood attached to his left ear.
Again, ahem. So. With gloves on, I released the vermin into the wild.
Well, not the wild. The garage, actually, because it’s cold out and cat infested and this little guy had a few kinks to work out before he was in fighting shape again.
I am slightly embarrassed, but…I held him in my gloved hands until he warmed and unkinked his neck joints.
THEN I LEFT him in the GARAGE to DIE.
I’m a cold, hard woman.

And after huddling in the corner of the palm of that glove for an hour — I checked every fifteen minutes…or ten — he ran away to later reapply himself to my peanut butter stores.
Bubs and I are no longer near tears, as now we feel the odds are even again, and the mouse has learned a little lesson about sniffing around metallic structures.
Take that, country livin’!

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