Thursday, June 27, 2013

They give you no points for a summer cold

They give a fellow no points
for writing about his summer
cold. Now, I know, having ut-
tered this complaint, one or
more of my colleagues, elo-
quent in discussing symptoms,
will run off a really peachy
report by eluding every dis-
agreable term and phrase, in
a nevertheless poignant way.
But is a summer cold that way,
or is it violent, unnerving,
desolating? I try to suppress
such questions about my own
summer cold, it seeming just
simply bad, cruel, ill-timed.
I could have opened a pleas-
ant Cuvée Louise last even-
ing, in the ordinary course
of celebrating the Supreme
Court's end of term. But the
fact of the matter is, they
left town two days too late.
I supped on a nicely crunchy
gazpacho instead, for which
the only evidence I was giv-
en of its passage across my
palate was the need to wash 
dishes. It took me most of
the evening, just to read a
final chapter of an anti-
fascist thriller of spot-
lessly generic predictabil-
ity; and if I couldn't zip
through a fantasy of pure
consolation, it can't have
been for dread of coming
to that end, but a symptom,
and one of the naughtier,
of an untoward summer cold.

Alan Furst
The Foreign Correspondent
Random House, 2006©

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