Liz, my co-worker, barely lifted her head as I walked heavily in the direction of her desk, but her eyes were slightly widened as I quickly passed by.
“I almost said a bad word just then, did you hear that?” I asked her. She let out a giggle, shook her head no, and continued typing. I dropped the papers on an empty desk at the far end of my floor, rolled my shoulders back to counter the hunched way they were curving from the day’s stress, and passed her desk once more saying, “I mean it, Liz. That time I really almost said a bad word.”
“Which one?” cried an excited voice from the middle of the floor.
I couldn’t see his face, but it was unmistakably the voice of my boss, who we’ll call Matt. He then stood up, revealing himself to be the culprit, slightly frozen with a wide smile spread across his face. He paused long enough to see if I would answer him, and started to brush his shirt and tie.
I started in with, “A bad one, Matt. And you know I don’t say bad words, so–”
“What letter does it start with?” he cried out with frantic enthusiasm.
He clumsily tried pulling his signature backpack on over a crisp navy blue suit jacket as he waited for my answer. I laughed. I want to be mad at him when he does this, but the sight of a grown man growing giddy over a naughty word, the way a child would, amuses me. Matt is mature, and yet silly. Focused, smart, and talented, but unassuming. I could do a lot worse as far as bosses go. But as it turns out, I adore mine.
I thought about that as I stood in the bathroom at work hiding from him and blowing my nose. I said I adore him, I didn’t say I don’t need a break from scheduling endless internal meetings. I looked at the door and leaned my head forward to try and detect the sound of approaching footsteps. There were none, so I opened my mouth wide and examined the back of my throat in the mirror. A few pats to my forehead and cheeks confirmed that I didn’t have a fever, but still, I felt terrible. I couldn’t believe I was suffering from a full-blown cold, something so…so common. I’m not ashamed to say that I think I’m above illness, and I wish more people felt the same way. The amount of facebook statuses devoted to illness astound me, annoy me, and ignite me – I want so badly to prescribe each of them a dose of supernatural reality. To remind them that claiming how sick you are isn’t doing anything to bring you back to health. You ask me if I’m sick and I’m always going to tell you that I’m getting better. Because I am. And I want to spread that around until it’s contagious to the entire human race.
Oh, how I long for the days when I am fully consumed with simply speaking about how great God is, and relaying funny stories that make hardened hearts open toward the idea of loving Him back, the way He has loved us unconditionally all our lives.
I fought hard all week, but gave in around Wednesday and bought a super-sized box of Alka Seltzer, something my Dad swears by. I continued going to work, even managing one spin class early in the week. I spared my dentist the pain of cleaning the teeth of a sick person, and now have to hear a lecture about not cancelling an appointment more than twenty-four hours beforehand the next time I go in. The only positive to slowly being drained of energy was that I could replace it with chicken soup – the meal that I think encompasses everything you really need in a single sitting.
Between that sentence and the last I was interrupted by a call related to work.
And…All I can do is smile and be grateful that I got back to feeling like me, got a sharp new hair-do, and the willpower to not say everything I’m thinking.
I’ll be back soon.