Sitting here poised over the laptop keyboard, I realize I've been wearing the same clothes -- black Dixie Chopper hoodie and my most comfortable jeans -- for three days now.
Haven't combed my hair in at least two days since it hurts just to touch it. Haven't shaved in three so that's made the beard a lot more scruffy than I like.
Even wore socks to bed the last couple of nights, which I've always deemed a fashion faux pas.
All because of some flu bug or common cold I picked up last week, probably exacerbated by standing out in the wind and cold for 40 minutes while the new parking lot clock tower was being finished.
My rewards have been many. My throat feels like I've swallowed sandpaper. The pressure in my sinuses seems like someone jammed ping pong balls up my nose. When I cough or sneeze, there's not only the dreaded death rattle in my chest but my ribcage and diaphragm ache with each new emission.
And the drainage, oh yeah, that's special. This must be what it feels like to be drowning.
Besides cough medicine and Sudafed, all I'm consumed the last couple days has been an occasional English muffin, a banana, some three-day-old chicken nuggets that I nuked and an expired and dented can of fruit cocktail (figured the penicillin growing within was probably good for me).
So starve a cold, feed a fever? Or starve a fever, feed a cold?
I'm never sure. It's like trying to remember which Olsen twin is which.
Yep, this is quite awful. And I never really get sick, but when I do (stay thirsty, my friends) it's always the same timeframe: Start feeling symptoms toward the end of the week, end up in bed or on the couch all weekend, and then rebound in time to not miss any work on Monday.
Even worse is the choice of things available to occupy your mind. I flipped the TV on in the bedroom and discovered about six straight episodes of "Law & Order" set to air. The only way I ever knew it was a new episode as I dozed on and off throughout the mini-marathon was that Mariska Hargitay was sporting a new hairstyle. Doink-doink.
Of course, I couldn't keep the good guys from the bad guys. At least in the old Westerns you had white and black hats to go by. And is it Ice-T or Ice Cube?
Later I did make it through Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson in "Wedding Crashers" and started to watch "Grudge Match" with Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro but it was so awful I think I lapsed into a coma.
Even my dog Chopper could sense something wasn't right. He, with his itchy-scratchy issues, wound himself in and out of my ankles as I sat on the edge of the bed. Normally he's not exactly the lovingest of creatures, unless you happen to be a female sitting on my couch. Then he jumps up and nestles alongside you like he's some lap dog starved for affection.
By now you're probably asking why I just didn't get a flu shot to keep from this misery.
Well, those shots, I'm told, have some kind of egg base to them, and being allergic to eggs, I didn't want to bring that on myself.
Besides I'd seen my father get a flu shot for years, only to get sick as a dog from the shot itself. I'd rather wait for the germs to mount their sneak attack.
So again I've rolled the dice and they've come up snake eyes.
But hopefully things will return to normal tomorrow and I'll leave the walking dead behind and go into the office.
And who knows, maybe I'll even feel good enough to shower, shave and change my socks before I go.