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There are few sensations more ominous than the sore throat, and particularly the throat that is sore in that peculiar spot where it meets the soft palate. This is never a portent of good, in my experience, and nearly always means that I’m coming down with a cold.

The sore throat started Wednesday night, but I had premonitions of it on Tuesday, when I spent seven hours conducting interviews in a miserable hotel meeting room, a room too ugly to be used for overnight guests, with horrid gold wallpaper, prints clearly purchased from what a friend of mine used to refer to as an art-by-the-pound sale, and an ancient air conditioning unit, without which the room was stuffy, but with which the room seemed full of mold spores. Not, as you might guess, an ideal tradeoff. Every time the a/c would come on, I’d feel my sinuses begin to close, and the glands near the base of my jaw begin to tighten, and I just sensed that things were not going to improve from there.

Somehow, though, miraculously, I survived the interviews and the three-hour meeting that followed, and then my night class after that. And the next day, perhaps just punchy with exhaustion, perhaps relieved that the interviewing was at last done, I was in a fabulous mood, had two pretty good classes, attended a wonderful poetry reading, and rolled on into my dinner meeting ready to do business.

And about halfway through the meeting, the sore throat kicked in.

I went home that night, took some zinc and drank some herbal tea, and actually felt somewhat better, if not great, yesterday morning. And so I let my guard down, thought that I’d managed to fend it off, and failed to continue with the zinc as I should have.

The sore throat is back. And I’m exhausted and achy. And on the one hand, I want to say “thank goodness it’s the weekend!” But on the other hand, damnit, it’s the weekend! I have a three-inch thick stack of grading to do this weekend, plus a book that must be read; I can’t lose my focus to snot right now.

Incidentally, it has not gone without notice that in the new post categorizing scheme I’ve concocted, “general whining” is out to a significant lead.


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