Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Sometimes I think I can remember the first time I came down with that sickness loosely referred to as "cough and cold with flu like aches, dizziness and the odd hallucination." I have a distinct memory of blaming the English, not that it was their fault, but I was given the distinct impression they considered this ailment a test of character which should not be permitted to interfere with the day to day in any way whatsoever.
With goo seeping from every orifice, I sat opposite a woman whose role it was to determine my level of brightness. There were colorful blocks in front of me, out of which I had to make patterns. It was probably the hacking cough, the sneezing and weeping eyes that finally persuaded her to hand over what I thought was a handkerchief. But it wasn't a handkerchief, it was a tissue paper. Something I'd never seen before, and at the time thought totally inadequate. I remember her telling me I could keep it.