i slept most of the days away, left my house only when necessary and bitched nonstop to anyone who made the mistake of calling me to say hi. i might be a happy drunk, but a sad sick i'm afraid. i hated the forced time off, particularly because i couldn't do a damn thing with it. i laugh when i think of the ambitious list i wrote of all the things i intended to do when i first began my respite. instead, i did the following — and you can too should you ever find yourself in the position of looking for Things to Do While Recovering from Bronchitis:
- promise yourself that you’ll never ever smoke another cigarette for the rest of your life and ask your friends to put out their own cigarettes on your face if you try to bum. decide to buy an air purifier and visit the steam room at the gym more often to help detoxify your lungs.
- bemoan the fact that your medication causes sun sensitivity and that you need to stay indoors and out of the sun’s harmful rays which can now boil you like a lobster. then remember it’s july in los angeles, 90 degrees, and that you hate heat and wouldn’t want to be out there anyway. feel better momentarily.
- enjoy the time with your fantastic dogs who seem happy to have you home so much. apologize to said dogs profusely about being a dead-beat mom all week and promise them numerous trips to the dog park upon your recovery. bond with your new puppy who is finally starting to become affectionate with you. notice that new puppy has a serious gas problem.
- begin work on a freelance project that requires you to proofread an 850-page high school health textbook. find yourself actually learning something. giggle at the chapter on sexual abstinence.
- visit your cutie-patootie Aryan doctor for another checkup where you blather on about your cough. say inappropriate and nonsensical things such as you really like the cough syrup with codeine he prescribed because it gives you “kaleidoscopic” dreams. blush like a school girl when he uses his stethoscope to listen to your lungs, which, by the way, sound clear so no you don’t have pneumonia like you suspect and you didn’t have it last time either, remember? leave quietly and then kick yourself in the head for being an insufferable idiot.
- find one long, dense book to occupy your week. settle on the 625-page autobiography of Katharine Graham. find yourself once again fascinated by the world of journalism. vow to rent “All the President’s Men” as soon as you can.
- become alarmed when your puppy brings in a severed pigeon leg one morning from the yard. carefully dispose of leg and then reluctantly enter your yard to find pigeon feathers scattered throughout, but no carcass. inspect puppy’s mouth, face and body to see if she had an altercation with a pigeon and already ate the evidence. conclude that it was likely a possum who committed the dismemberment the prior night and puppy recovered only sloppy seconds.
- eat like a pig because you’re bored and need comfort. exercise not at all. have your parents come by to drop off food after you complain that your fridge is empty. hear your dad look at you and say, “hmm, i thought being sick would make you drop a few pounds.”
- wish Zsa Zsa Gabor would call you.