Sick in the City

Being sick mostly sucks. Netflix and a big tub of vegetarian wonton soup delivered to my door helps, though.

I always gauge how sick I am by figuring out if I can ride the subway. If I can’t envision dragging myself up and down those stairs, if the thought of the ride makes me nauseous, if I’m too sweaty already and just the idea of the crush of rush-hour bodies makes me more so, then I am too sick to go to work. On the other hand, if I think I can swing the subway ride and will probably just spend the day sniffling at my desk, I will go. (I’m also one of those lucky folks who never experiences much of a hangover, but if the subway’s lurching makes me queasy, that’s how I know I had too much to drink last night.)

Stuffy noses can protect against the wall of urine-scented air that greets me at 34th St. I can be more casual about washing my hands after touching the pole: after all, it’s everyone else who should be afraid of my germs, instead of the other way around. Still, I do have to feel bad for those who sit next to me and endure the eardrum-rattling blasts of me blowing my nose. I may have to take a sick day anyway. If I’m too disgusting, I’m afraid I might end up back here, with a surreptitously-taken photo of me under the headline “SUBWAY FOLK: Stay the Fuck Home, Plague-Lady.”

1 Comment so far

  1. Anna Weichselbraun (unregistered) on May 5th, 2005 @ 9:06 am

    The subway: What a good gauge. I totally know what you’re talking about. The sweatiness especially. It’s almost worst in the winter though, when you’re wearing seven layers of clothes and that big sausage down to your knees jacket because of subzero temperatures and then when you get on the subway it’s like an unwelcome sauna sweat therapy.

    I once felt like I was going to throw up and faint at the same time, I had to get off at union sq and relax and wait for a less crowded train in order to make it to work without losing my breakfast.

    Speaking of sickness and transportation. I once boarded a flight from Europe to NYC with bronchitis. I know, I know I shouldn’t have done it but nowadays they don’t give you any sickness flight insurance anymore. I tortured the two passengers next to me with nearly constant (let’s say every 3 minutes) grueling coughing with phlegm noises and everything. This was no slight cough, this was all out shake my body and spit in a tissue coughing. Awful. It’s gonna come around one day, maybe when I sit next to you on the subway when you’re sick. ;)



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