Ginger-ale and cough drops, oranges and body heat, flowers and cold medicine. Everyone takes care of you a little differently.
Not enough water. Too hot. Too cold. Windows open that maybe ought to be closed. My long, wet hair. When I wake fevered and exhausted in the middle of the night, I realize I take care of myself the worst.
My bones ache, the tissues linger. I’m getting too old, can’t shake these things off quite as quick as I used to. Rely too much on someone to rub my back, flat palmed, in slow circles til I fall back asleep.
When I was younger there was no one, but these things passed so much easier. It wasn’t such a drag — dragging my body around, coughing into the soft bend of my elbow.
I remain better at bringing the tea. At coaxing spoonfuls of bitter into slack mouths. At rearranging the blankets and holding close.
Still there is a small comfort, a small wonder, when he tells me to close my eyes. That I will feel better soon. And even though I don’t quite believe him, my lashes loll so obediently that it doesn’t really matter.