I have a debilitating disease. It’s internal bleeding.
No, it’s the return of the bubonic plague.
No, it’s the Zika virus. Right here, in the middle of the United States, a Zika mosquito’s saliva is coursing through my body and I am dying. I’m dying from the black death. I have the man cold.
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I’m looking out my window and I see winter brown exploding into color. The color is everywhere. It’s painted on trees and the ground. Even the sky is a brighter shade of blue. The world has seemed to break out in a love of spring fever.
Can you die of spring fever? Because I think I’m dying from it.
I’m confusing you. Let me explain.
The ones closest to me know this little secret. It’s minor, really. You can forget I ever mentioned it. I am a man. Not a man with a penis but a man with a cold.
I have the man-cold syndrome.
I’ve heard the jokes. A bunch of girlfriends get together to complain about their husbands. The topic falls on a man getting sick and BOOM – the insults fly and I avoid all eye contact.
“He’s so whiny, lazy, and pathetic when he’s sick.”
“He’s a complete momma’s boy and he doesn’t even have a fever”
“He wants us to finish the will. He tells me which friends get his golf clubs and his nice watch.”
“Oh, and that ‘in sickness and in health’ bullshit. Men are the weaker sex. A cold – HE HAS THE COMMON COLD.”
My husband is a woman and I am a man. I am your fetal-position, violently ill, man-cold husband without a fever. I have a cold. I have a bad cold. I have a really, really bad cold and I’m dying from a genetic mutation of the 1918 influenza pandemic that somehow got stored in my genes. My death by cold-with-no-fever has been dragging on for two weeks. My husband has put up with my moaning bullshit for 14 days. Not that kind of moaning.
The time spent on my deathbed got me thinking of a list. Here are my last dying wishes:
I want my husband to teach me how to use his childhood BB gun. My first thought was to ask Amazon to screw off. But Amazon allows me not to talk to people. One reason I don’t like to shop is because I don’t like people.
It’s not Amazon’s fault. I live in Suburbia, Kansas – home of criminals that follow UPS, FedEX and the USPS trucks to steal packages from front doors. I want to use a BB gun on them. I want to be wheeled out to our front porch, sit, and wait while I spit giant chunks of green phlegm on the ground.
Anyone running away with one of my neighbors’ packages gets a BB to the leg or arm or big toe.
I want saline power-sprayed into every crevice of my body. Water is flowing out of my eyes, my nose, and my mouth. I probably peed the bed last night and I’m sitting in my own urine.
I want all homework to come with a parent-guide. The hell if I know common core. The hell if I even remember “my way” of math. I tried to learn math as a kid. At best, I peaked as a B-student. Now, I’m just peaking, falling, and it’s giving me a headache because I’m 37 now. And why are my kids putting homework on me when I’m dying? Where is my husband?
World peace. Let’s just throw it out there and see what happens.
I want my husband to stop rolling his eyes at me every time I tell him my specific request for LUDEN’s Wild Cherry Cough drops. No, I’m not a child. Menthol cough drops don’t work and they make me smell like sickness.
To the font maker of the Target’s Archer Farms coffee beans – SCREW YOU, KIND SIR. I can feel caffeine in my soul. I tried to drink a fresh cup of coffee to soothe my sore throat and you know what I felt? I felt hot crap water. I felt decaf. Next time you’re at your computer designing coffee bean packaging, try displaying DECAF in extra-large letters with a surgeon general warning symbol on the front.
I want my kids and husband (once he brings me Luden’s cough drops) to be happy for the rest of their lives. If this is what death feels like, just let me waste away like a withering spring flower.
I am a man with a cold-with-no-fever. I have the man cold. Happy Spring. May I rest in peace.