The cold started sneezing its way out of my on Tuesday, and by Wednesday morning it was in full plegmy bloom, resistant to all of my efforts to subdue it. It didn't stop me from going to work, however. I was confident that I could overcome it. One of my colleagues gave me a couple hard yellow orbs of daytime cold medicine, the brand name lost to me in a slow-drip tissue toss that lasted through the afternoon, but they had no affect whatsoever.
So, after work yesterday, to attempt to alleviate my discomfort, I went to the pharmacy to pick up some cold medicine. There were four other people in the lightly-stocked closet pharmacy in the HBKU Student Center that seemed to have more artificial nail products and vitamin goodie-bottles than medicine: a female pharmacist behind the counter with a gap between her front teeth flanked by two disinterested-looking vendor-type dudes--one short with a moustache and the other tall and stubbly--and another man on a small step-ladder who was removing items from the glass shelves, dusting the shelves, and then returning the items. The pharmacist greeted me:
"I need some cold medicine," I said, feeling a little claustrophic now that there were five of us in the closet.
"Do you have a runny nose?"
"Cough?" she asked, putting the tips of her hand on her throat.
"A little." The pharmacist thought for a moment and then turned and grabbed a blue box from a stack of them behind her, but I wasn't really paying attention. Then it looked like she had a good idea.
"If you have a cold," she added, emerging from behind the counter, "what you really need is vitamin C," and she plucked something from a nearby shelf and put it on the counter. I picked up the heavy rectangular box and must've looked confused. "Tablets. Dissolve one in water." I nodded.
When I got home, I noticed that the pharmacist had sold me allergy medication. I already had a little bottle of pink allergy pills, so I really didn't need more of the same. Besides, I had asked for cold medicine specifically. I dissolved one of the tablets in water and drank the solution. We ate dinner, and then I went to bed.
This morning, I woke up to the stuffy sameness that had been with me all of Tuesday and immediately swallowed one of my allergy pills, but it didn't have any effect. I went off to work, as usual. The same colleague checked on my condition, and offered me a different variety of cold pill—big white things—but those didn't do anything for me, either, though it was no fault of hers. Nothing I did could treat the symptoms.
I rested in bed until Vito came back from school. I wanted to continue, but Angela and Vito played the panino game on the bed next to me, and I couldn't get any more rest. We practiced piano, ate dinner, and then read Vito to sleep. Now I am watching La Grande Bellezza with Angela and finishing this record of my illness. I guess I'll be OK.