Mi espalda…


Sick day theme day…


The little joys in life. Halls brand cough drops come with “A Pep Talk in Every Drop.” It is a clever idea to brighten the day of someone reduced to sucking on forty-five cough drops just to make it through an eight-hour workday. I organized the pep talks into five categories:

(Uno) 1. The ironically peppy. “Be unstoppable!” (cough, cough, cough. Hmmm, I’m not sure they mean unstoppable coughing…). “Power through.” (My phlegm is threatening to power through my mouth the next time I cough). “Elicit a few “wows” today.” (You mean, like, “Wow, I didn’t know a person could cough so much without coughing up a lung or at least a little bit of blood?” – that kind of wow?). “You got it in you.” (That’s the PROBLEM! See my above comment regarding phlegm).

(Due) 2. Questionable. “Inspire envy.” (uh, that one seems a little mean-spirited; no need to compare and judge, I’m trying to heal myself here!)

(Tre) 3. Silly. “Bet on yourself.” (Even a gambling addict on her way to the racetrack wouldn’t take this bet.)

(Quattro) 4. Aggressive. “Put your game face on.” “Let’s hear your battle cry” “March forward” (Are these pep talks geared toward sales on military bases?)

(Cinque) 5. Peppy. “Power through!” “Take charge and mean it.” “Tough is your middle name.” (Finally, pep talks to inspire me to make it through the day.)


“ah, my back!” (English)

“ah, la mia schiena!” (Italian)

“ah, mi espalda” (Spanish)

Today my back went out (maybe all the coughing?). Immediately the memory of a overnight Mexican bus trip came to mind. I was traveling with classmates from a Oaxacan language school for a weekend at the beach in Puerto Escondido. We squeezed onto a crowded bus in Oaxaca. A classmate, Tony, infamously used the bathroom and returned to find an abuelita in his seat. He harassed her until she got up, and mimicked her for days. “Mi espalda! Mi espalda!” she had kept pleading with him. While Tony is a huge ass, I still know how to say “My back!”


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