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01.17.2003 - 1:32 p.m.


I can't get rid of this stupid cold. Wounded by days of DayQuil, NyQuil, and FuckingsodoffalreadyQuil, it's crawled into my chest to retaliate. I get this tickle in my throat, so I cough until I sound like the mating call of an elephant seal and internal organs threaten to loosen and float aimlessly about my body. That somehow tickles my nose, so I sneeze several times. Then I blow my nose vigorously. Then, my throat tickles.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Bah.

I was all congested last week on the flight to California. The ascent was okay, except for my usual 5 minutes of white-knuckled panic, but during the descent my ears simply would not clear. As the plane lowered it got harder and harder to hear anything and the pressure became more and more painful until I stared glassily out the window, ostensibly enjoying the view but internally fighting a very real and rising horror that something in my head was going to implode. A few minutes after we landed I finally, through frantic yawnings, managed to clear everything and practically sobbed with relief at the abrupt return of voices and noise.

I'm sketchy about flying. When I was a kid, I loved it, but at some point the whole sense of adventure got replaced with scene after scene of flaming wreckage. It's taking off that really bothers me, not landing. For some reason, it seems like after flying hundreds of miles, arriving on the ground in one piece is a foregone conclusion.

Ascending, in my mind, is a different thing - it seems like if something is going to go wrong, that's when it will happen. I can't help picturing it; the sickening pitch, the sudden yellow confusion of jangling oxygen masks, the explosion of carryon luggage tumbling through the air. I always wonder what I would do. Would I scream? Screw my eyes shut and curl into myself, trying to block it out? Reach blindly for the trembling hand of the stranger next to me? Or maybe I would just dreamily look out at the ground rushing up to us, and think, I knew it all along.


I just spent several minutes spraying something called Aveda Brilliance into my hair. It's supposed to make it look shiny. It occurs to me how stupid it all is - washing your hair to get rid of grease, then immediately spraying it back on. Scrubbing your face to get rid of oil, then slathering it with various guck afterwards. Like it's ok if there's goo on your body, as long as it came in an overpriced little tube.

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