Sick and Puzzled


The last time I saw my friends, I was yelling across a 15-person table at a tiny Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. My voice blended with the echoes of other voices and the atmosphere was certainly not what I would choose for a quiet date. In the bacchanalia, I must have breathed in a a little green virus. It attached to my tonsils and has wreaked havoc on my respiratory system ever since. This cold has so screwed my perspective that my most satisfying moment today, more satisfying even than finishing the first draft of a story I’ve been working on for a while, was when I blew my nose and filled a Kleenex with the green mucus that has filled my aching face for the last 5 days.

Needless to say, I haven’t left the house much. And I’ve discovered that the world twirls on quite happily without me. I twirl less happily without it. It is lonely being at home all day. But I have found lots to occupy myself. Books, cooking, writing and puzzles. The puzzle we have out on the table right now has us Puzzled. It’s a torture device of 654 pieces with no picture. Just endless grey pieces. What’s the point? There isn’t one. Doing a puzzle can be like meditating: the narrow focus helps the mind relax. Even when I’m working on a puzzle with someone else, we eventually fall into quiet solitary trances. Soon I’ll be better and the puzzle will go back into its box, unfinished. I don’t know if we’ll be taking this one out again!