Tag Archives: chronicles in sounding like your parents

Chronicles in Sounding Like Your Parents, incident 37

I’ve been fighting this sinus infection for two-plus weeks. I’ve had more sinus infections in my life than sexual encounters, or so it seems in the throes of it. (The throes of the infection, not the throes of … okay-stop-now).

So I don’t run out for antibiotics every time. I mean, they say that’s bad, and most of them go away in a few days (ha!) anyway, so don’t dumb down the world’s resistance and your own immunity, and don’t encourage the bugs to evolve resistance to antibiotics unless you absolutely need them.

(Just the fact that I’m talking about being sick makes me sound like my dad, but that’s not the point here.)

Without getting into gross details, this bug’s aftermath is working its way through. Which means I’m coughing a fair amount — it’s not contagious! — but I can’t exactly stay home from work for five days to let it pass. So I try to cough discreetly by doing it outside or running to the (sadly) thin-walled bathroom at the office.

The other day I was about to leave work, so I “held” a cough until I could get out by the car. Well, holding it made it one hell of a whopper. Once I got going, turns out there was a lot to get out. And as I’m standing there, hacking out what feels like a lung next to my car, that wave of stomach/cough spasms hit me and the sound of my cough hit a new, higher, desperate frequency. A crescendo, before a final, disgusted-yet-relaxed hack of yuck.

THAT’S when it struck me: Good god, that cough sounded JUST like my dad’s. Really.

I got this wave of flashbacks of being a little kid, seeing him in winter in his long smoke-smelly coat, scarf around his neck, tissues coming out of every pocket, cough drops in the car ashtray (because the world is thy ashtray, not the plastic trough in the car — I mean yuck, who wants to have ashes in their car?), as he’d hack out a spasmic, high-squeak desperation cough that surely must have included a bit of lung. Sometimes I wondered if he was going to die by nightfall.

So it sounded just like that.

I guess there’s no avoiding it: You end up being/sounding like your parents in stunning ways that sneak up on you and whack you over the head. No kids for me, but come to think of it, when I’m hacking at home, the dogs do come up and stare at me from a safe distance with a curious look of concern, as if they wonder whether their provider is going to die by nightfall. Shit.