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The Hum of Alien Life

February 23, 2018

Bloody H3N2. Your head hurts. It feels as if your brain has swollen and is rubbing against the inside of your skull. Your throat and lungs are raw, as if you are standing over a boiling kettle, breathing in the steam. Every cell in your body feels bloated by disease. It hums with alien life. It boils and aches.

In your mind’s eye, you picture vicious influenza A virus subtype H3N2 invaders piercing your cells, swarming in and destroying. You look in the mirror and see tiny, watery eyes weighed down by exhausted lids and eyebrows. Your face is murky. Your dreams are fever nightmares about all the things you haven’t done and all the catastrophes that are about to befall you.

But miraculously, Day Six dawns and the heavy military machine of your immune system is waking up. It’s fighting back. You are out of bed and although it feels as if you are walking on the moon, you raise your arm and shake your fist. You will not destroy me.

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