death_head_smLouise

Summer has finally arrived in Utah and with it has come a knock-down-flat-on-your-back cold.  First I got it and then Tom got it.

There’s a huge difference between having a cold when you’re over sixty-five and when you are, say, twenty-five, or even fifty-five.  When you are over sixty-five, your paranoia about dying becomes hypersensitive.  You think of stories you’ve heard where people do die in their sixties of silly things like pneumonia or little bacterial infections that become killer bacterial infections.  Like that woman, somebody’s mother, who went to Washington D.C. to help her daughter with a new baby and died of pneumonia suddenly.  No one would believe that story if it were fiction.

The cold began with a sore throat.  Tom and I were watching a British series on Hulu, (DOC MARTIN, which I recommend to all), on my laptop in bed.  In the middle of it I knew I was dying this very week, and I didn’t want to.  I turned away from the laptop and faced the wall.  I tried to be brave.  I thought about how I had gotten everything I ever wanted in my life and to want it to continue another twenty years was sheer piggishness.  I closed my eyes, preparing myself to stop breathing.

“You think you’ve got swine flu and you’re dying,” Tom says.

“Yes,” I say without turning over.

“Get real.  You’ve got a cold.”

“How do you know?”

“I just know.”

On Sunday, after attending two different sacrament meetings to hear our nearest and dearest give Father’s Day talks, Tom falls into bed. “I think I have a fever,” he says.

“No, you don’t,” I say touching his brow.

“I think I do.”

“No.”

He’s not convinced.  I have to go to the grocery store and buy a thermometer.  He takes his temperature three times.  It’s below normal.  “You don’t have a temperature and you don’t have the swine flu,” I say.  “You have my cold.”

“Maybe,” he says.

Like I said, it’s different when you’re over sixty-five.

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