Bronchitis and Trash Cans or Why I Have to Stay Home from School

I kneel on the floor of my college’s health center, hunching over a blue trash can that’s insides smell of cologne, the smell of which I was not expecting. I talk to someone, take fifteen minutes to fill out a form that should have taken me two, and look down: a Dunkin’ Donuts cup and plastic lid, a cologne box, and white things, probably tissues or napkins. This is embarrassing. I fixate on the cologne. Was someone trying to smell good for the doctor? I didn’t get it. It hurts. A throbbing pain, my head exploding.

Doc’s orders: take your medicine, take a taxi instead of the T, rest, stay home, get better. I sleep for a while, tugging on to a blue blanket and adjusting my feet on the footrest that extends from the exam table. I take a taxi then head back to my apartment, dizzy. 
So here I am, attempting to get well soon.

An on-the-spot poem about how much it stinks to have bronchitis:

Breathe in, baby
it’ll be all right
a cough,
a wheeze,
a cough again
a breath
white pills, then red
then one pink
a cough
white pill, then water
soup, then water
a cough, a breath
breathe in, baby
just breathe.

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