_ Sunday at the Lake with Donna sucked. I awoke at 6am to take the dogs over to the shore for their morning maneuvers, and heard a pitiful and pained moaning. At first, I thought an injured otter had climbed onto our boat to die, until I realized it was me. Then, I heard a similar whining and groaning coming from Frank. Somehow during the night, we had both become ill. And, not the kind caused by booze, but the horrible kind caused by germs.
“Do you feel as bad as I do?” he asked.
“Of course, not. I feel worse. Way worse,” I whimper. “My throat is on fire. Every muscle aches. My chest is full of slime. My head feels like gnomes are on the inside trying to kick my eyes from their sockets. I’m weak. I’m clammy. My lower back is in knots. I feel like a dish rag dunked in old motor oil.”
“Yeah, me too,” Frank claims.
“No way you feel as bad as I do,” I counter, “You know what I wish?”
“That you were little.”
When I feel sick or sad or lonely or bored, I have the same wish…to be little. Not young. Not skinny. I want to be able to shrink at will to about a foot tall, somewhere around the size of an organ grinder’s monkey. If I were this small I could climb up on Frank’s hairy chest and curl up—I imagine this would be the safest, most comfortable place on the planet. Instead of walking the dogs, I could ride them. I would sit on the mantle at parties and hold court. A shot of bourbon would last me a whole day. I could spoon with the cats and be engulfed in their purrs. I could wear the cool clothes meant for those creepy BeGoths dolls.
“If I were little, you could hang me upside down so my back would stretch out.”
“Or, I could swing you around like this.” He mimics the motion people use to wring a chicken’s neck.
I realize at that moment that some cruel creatures would try to take advantage of my small stature. But, along with my shrinking superpower, I will also be venomous. Then, if anyone approaches with malice or intentions of taking my whiskey shot, I will emit an air-born toxin that will paralyze them by giving them a killer cold that will make them feel as bad as I do now.
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