My next flu will be so much better than this one. It will be fun and have a sense of humor and come with confetti and wind chimes. I will have a robot for a tea pot which I can remotely access and turn off and on to create tea without having to get out of bed or call my husband, and by “ call”, I mean scrounge up enough energy in my vocal cords to meekly warble “Keith” into the air.
My next flu I won’t be wearing the same sweater and socks for four days that I have sweat through but am too weary and apathetic to change. I’ll have a stylish flu clothing collection that includes bright and close fitting turtle necks and hoodies, Burberry half scarves and polka dotted t-shirts over thick, chewy, oatmeal colored, Calvin Klein long underwear. These will be laid out on a wooden bench near the bed, at the ready for when sweat, germs, or just sheer clothing malaise, makes it impossible to wear my current flu outfit any longer.
My next flu I will look fetching in my plaid flu vest and matching pajama bottoms as I lumber from the bed to the kitchen to retrieve my array of dazzling herbal supplements. And my husband won’t be able to resist touching me as I snivel past him on my way to the bathroom, which will of course be newly painted a cheery bright blue and emanate scents of lavender oil bath salts from baths which will be magically drawn for me each time the thought of hot water crosses my mind. He’ll embrace me warmly, glide the back of his hand across my fever flushed face instead of scampering across the room, like a frightened rodent to avoid any potential contamination.
My next flu will happen on the days when all my favorite radio shows on NPR are playing, so I don’t have to listen to Garrison Keillor twice or the Car Guys, but can just switch on the dial confidently knowing that interesting and insightful stories from Ira Glass and Eleanor Beardsley in Paris are about to brush gently against my ear sockets.
My next flu, all those articles from Vanity Fair and Mother Jones which I’ve been meaning to read and claim there is never enough time to do so, will be piled up and ready, carefully earmarked, so I don’t have to think and remember anything difficult, when brain space is limited but ample time, horizontal bed space and heightened boredom is available to me.
My next flu I will possess a working thermometer instead of the one I’ve been using which I bought the last time I had the flu in 2003 from a cheap drugstore in NYC and which continually tells me that my temperature is either 96.5 or 100.3 depending on which side of my tongue I put it under. No, this new thermometer will accurately read my fever, and it will taste like gumdrops.
My next flu will have a name, like the hurricanes, except it will be much cuter, like Sasha or Linnea, and I can call it “Sash” or “Linny” for short during my perkier moments.
My next flu will have an Evite to celebrate its departure, which of course will be imminent after its arrival since this flu will last only 2 days instead of 5. The Evite will go out two weeks in advance so people know to come to my house the day after the flu leaves to prevent any germ spread and to replenish the supply of corn lemongrass soup, eggs and sweet potatoes which I have been living on for 96 hours.
My next flu will be so great, that we’ll keep in touch- like pen pals. I’ll write and ask who else it has infected and it’ll write back and tell tales of its latest Flu-ee and how much fun they’ve had together – learning about one another, laughing, playing scrabble, until it’s time to travel on to the next lucky person.