it’s flu season: a manifesto.

It’s flu season, motherfuckers, and I am here to tell you that I am beating the shit out of this thing. I have consumed nine lemons in four days, sliced in wedges and poured into endless cups of Sinus Soother tea. I have stared pity in the face, and it looks like the busboy at Pho Ha who knows my takeout order before I even make it to the counter. I am so fucking hydrated my pee might as well be invisible. Hear that, RNA virus? I’m coming for you. Just you wait.

Flu does things to a girl, you see. Things I’m not proud of. Things like watching 1999’s “The Muse,” starring Albert Brooks, just because it was next on Netflix and I was too weak to reach the remote. Things like wearing pajamas in public, shuffling slowly towards the pharmacy, my winter coat concealing my lack of a bra, because I can’t seem to find a service that will deliver cough drops and Nyquil to my door.

I dimly remember a time when I lived a full and active life. I made endless lists of things to do, and went about the business of crossing them off. It seems so distant now, so trivial, so foolhardy. I was once a person who once routinely worked fourteen-hour days, and enjoyed it. Let me tell you, I just spent two hours accomplishing the following: 1) making soup, 2) eating it. And then took I a nap to reward myself for a job well done. I tried to answer the phone this morning and was startled to hear Tom Waits’ voice where mine should have been. Damn it, influenza. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

But I refuse to live in fear. I refuse to let this keep me down.  I refuse to miss another day of work. I refuse to sleep through one more shitty movie. I am a woman of strength and dignity. I will not let that be taken from me.

I may be wearing leggings instead of pants. I may be unable to hear properly. I may smell strongly of garlic and menthol, and I may have to wash all the blankets in the house. But I will prevail.

Rise up, sufferers of the world. Rise up and tell the world you’re a survivor. Rise up and say, no more, no more. Rise up, ye bedridden, ye couchridden, ye fellow snot-nosed, red-eyed, sore-limbed warriors. Rise up and give ‘em hell.

And then collapse back on the couch and sleep for a day or so, after making a mental note to get the damn shot next year. Because holy hell, that was fucking exhausting.