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just not feeling the love today
got the rockin' pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu
by robert a. melos
2.1.03
humor

I crawled out of bed this morning, with a heavily congested feeling in my chest, and spent the first waking hour of the day coughing like I was gonna hack up a lung. Something was just out of sorts with the world, but I couldn’t place a finger on it.

After managing a long hot steaming shower I still felt chilled to the bone, although less congested. Unfortunately my throat was taking on a fuzzy feeling, as if I’d swallowed an angora sweater.

Glancing in the mirror, I was greeted with a pale, in the sense of ghostly, white complexion, heavy baggage under my eyes, and a mildly red nose. I was still sick, after more than a week, and definitely not in the mood for reindeer games. Yet I had no choice but to go to the office.

Yes, work beckoned to me like a surly headwaiter who thought I was too lowbrow to dine in any establishment that didn’t offer to super size my meal. The office greeted me with the usual fanfare of phones ringing off the hook, garbled messages on crumpled pink message sheets, and a voicemail that scrambled my messages amongst the multitude of voicemails in the building.

I groaned a greeting to the office processor, and shuffled to my desk, checking my mail slot and the fax bin on the way, in hopes of some distraction to take my mind off of how out of sorts I was feeling. Alas, there was to be no distractions from the work at hand. And what work was that, you ask?

The work at hand was the handling of clients and customers all clamoring for attention and easy immediate answers to not so easily answered questions. Within minutes of arriving at the office, I knew I’d made a dreadful mistake and should’ve stayed in bed instead of attempting to fight all the logic that told me sleep was more necessary than the possibility of a future commission.

My boss greeted me cheerfully with her inquiry into what I was currently work on, and just how far I’d gotten with my current clients and customers, and why was I shaking as if I were having chills? I answered her last question first by sneezing and informing her I was sick.

After she recoiled from the barrage of germ warfare my sneeze unleashed upon my co-workers, she wished me well, and told me not to work too hard, since I wasn’t feeling well and all. No, she did not insist I return home to my comfy bed, and my warm down comforter, and my 800 channels of mind numbing cable sleep inducers. No, she simply wished me well, and handed me some potential leads to follow up on before I either left for the day or died.

I shivered once more and shuffled back to my desk, where I began handling the brushfires of my real estates dealings by placing calls to lawyers, sellers, buyers, home inspectors, and mortgage brokers, answering and asking all the right questions, and barely giving any hint of my fever, cold, or my hallucinatory daymares which turned my co-workers into weasels before my eyes, only to taunt me with the less attractive realities of their personages moments later.

Somehow I managed to get through the day fulfilling requests for attention from homeowners who couldn’t be bothered to make the effort to answer their lawyer’s inquiries, instead opting to call and ask me to contact their lawyers, because said lawyers might charge them if they were to actually contact the lawyers, and give the lawyers the information they requested of the owners who were avoiding contact with the very persons they hired to represent them to begin with.

I dodged insults, and put off as many customers and clients, as was humanly possible, while attempting to remain sitting upright and not tumble to the floor in exhaustion and a coughing fit. Our office administrator breezed through stopping only long enough to suggest I refrain from using my co-workers phones, and if I did to be kind enough to spray them with a disinfectant and wipe them down so my co-workers would not catch my cold.

I simultaneously fought the urge to snarkily tell her I had gotten my cold from using my co-workers phones, and barf. The effort was almost more than I could muster, but I had little choice as one of my customers walked in to take advantage of the fact it was raining and cold. He had skipped his work that afternoon to go looking for houses with me, if I had the time to just drop everything for him and his most urgent need to be placated and recognized as the only truly important person in my universe?

I sneezed, coughed for three minutes, and told him I’d gladly take him out, in what was possibly the worst weather I could be exposing myself to, all in order to please him and maybe make a sale. I took a deep breath, which rattled in my lungs and sent my office administrator running for a spray can of disinfectant, a cloud of which she would engulf herself in the moment I left the office.

I shivered and blindly drove to three potential properties for my customer’s viewing pleasure, escorting him through the damp drizzle, up the front walks to the front doors where I rang the doorbells and stood coughing and sneezing while we waited for the tenants and homeowners to usher us in from the gale. We waited for several minutes at each property, before turning and scurrying back to the car and on to the next property, because the tenants and homeowners hadn’t been home to let us view their none too palatial abodes.

Wet, weary, and well on my way to death’s doorway, I returned to my office to be greeted by the still ringing phones, the newly crumpled messages on pink message paper, and newly scattered voicemails, some of which would never be retrieved, all with the plan of picking up my yuppie styled briefcase/portfolio bag and heading home to the comfort of my bed, my dog, and my computer.

Somehow I managed to escape the office hell, perhaps by breathing heavily in the direction of anyone who approached me, and found myself at home, where my dog patiently waited to be let out and then returned to nuzzle my chin and lick my face. I hopped on the cyber highway, and cruised to my favorite websites, stopping briefly here and there to read a message board of interest.

I sipped some chicken soup retrieved from my favorite sandwich shop on my way home, downed several different cold medications and cough syrups, and settled in for the night. By the end of my loveless day, I was once again feeling the affections of my canine, my friends on the Internet, and the peacefulness of a cold medicated induced sleep taking over.

As I drifted off to dreamland I somehow knew, by tomorrow, all would be right with the world. If not right, at least more tolerable after a good night’s sleep.


ABOUT ROBERT A. MELOS

Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos

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