Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The power of suggestion

I don't know what your work friends are like. Mine are like elementary school friends, in the best way. I talk to them throughout the day, and like them a lot. Most of the conversation is the workplace equivalent of making fun of the teacher, with some current events and pop culture in the mix. Also like my elementary school friends, there's not a lot of talk about personal life, and it's rare to go drinking at the end of the day. (I say "rare," because the Matts and I would occasionally celebrate a hard day of second grade by drinking 40's on the kickball diamond.) There's the occasional wedding or apartment party, but knowing that I'm going to see these people first thing on Monday morning, it's rare for me to end the night dancing the Macarena on somebody's coffee table. (I say "rare," because lapses in judgment are known to happen.)

It's easy to forget how influential your elementary school friends were. If someone was out of school, the entire class could feel messed up. If your best friend got the chicken pox, you'd get them soon too. Dig-Dug? Yes, an excellent game. In the most guileless way, we moved in herds.

My friend S. wasn't feeling well today. It happened that I woke up feeling like I had the onset of a cold. As the morning went along, I was feeling better.

Until I talked to S. He's my age. I've worked on the same projects with him for the past six months. As S. explained his symptoms, I began to feel progressively more unhealthy. He had a fever? Suddenly, I had a fever. Muscles ache? Shit, me too. By the time we finished our conversation, I was ready to drop some Nyquil and catch an ambulance home.

I spent the afternoon cursing my bad luck. From now on, it would only be orange juice for me! And no more Marlboro lights. This sickness -- the fever, the sniffles, the achy joints -- was what I deserved for my bad behavior. Curses.

I left work at the usual hour, hoping to rest on the couch and recover quickly.

Then I got home. I wasn't sick, I was just tired -- the result of staying up too late reading, and waking up too early from a honking car. Hearing S. talk about not feeling well convinced me that I was sick, too.

I've never been a hypochondriac, and never considered myself suggestible. I can't believe that I've become this retarded.


Flop said...

I actually was sick yesterday. Wait, don't read this Crimenotes, lest you catch the fever n' ague from it.

CrimeNotes said...

Now today, I'm feeling legitimately sick!

This sucks.

Maybe I have allergies.