Notes From the Infirmary

So I’m sick this week.

Not the whole week. Not yet. There are still a few days to go, so I probably shouldn’t get cocky.

But so I’m sick and I didn’t work far enough ahead so now I’m caught with my bloggatorial pants down.

Kids, you find, are to illness like an arthritic joint is to bad weather – whatever’s coming down the pike, they’ll give you a big heads-up. For example: Little man starts vomiting on Monday, Mama start vomiting on Friday, Papa takes his turn at the porcelain bus on Sunday night.

It’s nice to do things as a family.

It’s odd, when you think about all this little organisms that get inside this bigger, ruggedly handsome organism and set off all these chemical reactions  at the cellular level that end up sending our March toilet paper budget skyrocketing. In this instance it certainly isn’t good for my health, but on a macro level, it’s vital. We need to be exposed to these things in manageable doses to maintain a working immune system.

And that’s just viral. Bacterially speaking, it’s even more of a rich, filthy tapestry. Sure, you’ve got your flesh eaters, and who wants them in the pool? And there’s typhoid and all sundry infectious diseases, but we do actually depend on certain bacteria to metabolize food in our digestive system. There are studies that show that the presence of these gut bacteria play a big part in seratonin production, and thus, our moods.

And that’s not me, that’s these guys talking.

And once I get going on this train of thought I can’t help but consider the miniature external wildlife we carry around on us. There are teensy tiny mites that live in our eyelashes. Like, they live their entire lives up there, for generations. It’s like Europe. In your eyelashes.

How can we even conceive of ourselves as individual agents, really, in light of such facts? Aren’t we more a series of ecosystems that coexist in symbiosis? Dozens of little circles of life playing out in concert with every update of a facebook status?

Or am I just awake on the toilet for the 4th time tonight?

I gotta get some reading material in here.




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2 responses to “Notes From the Infirmary

  1. MZA

    Kimchi, yo! “The Art of Fermentation” by Sandor Katz would be great reading material for your porcelain bus stop – and topical. Maybe wait til you’re a little less queasy to start reading the fermented meat chapter, though.

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