i had a 9 hour sleep canvas to work with last night and i couldn't do anything with it. last night was the onset of congestion. the mountaintops of white used kleenex tissues emerging from the trash cans a clear evidence of this. as i put myself down in bed around midnight, i realized that this breathing through the nose was not going to work out tonight. there would have to be some mouth respiration, or until the congestion went away. breathing through the mouth dries the throat, and i was very aware of this because i didn't want to worsen my already sore throat. minutes, then hours ticked away. i was still awake by 2am, elevating my head with several pillows, banking on some theory that the slight slope would facilitate proper breathing. eventually i did fall asleep, and eventually normal breathing did return, only to go away, only to come back again. the whole night was intermittent, sleep a little bit, wake up to blow my nose, sip some water, use the bathroom, and go back to bed. it wasn't just my nose that was leaking, so were my eyes, i'd go into the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror and they'd be covered in eye booger. it was not a restful night of sleep.

still, i was able to wake up this morning without a problem, even took a shower, but only because i was sweating so much during the night. my eyes were bloodshot from all the noctural "crying." i woke up but i didn't go to work just yet. things in the office are in such a state that if i took one or two sick days to fully recover from my disease (more importantly, to not spread my germs to my coworkers), it'd be okay - were it not for the fact that katrinka is getting married in washington state this saturday and alex is leaving to attend the wedding tomorrow and he wants us to build an interactive for a laptop that he's bringing featuring a webcam that will allow guests to record digital videos of themselves giving well wishes to the new bride and groom. as far as i knew, i was the only programmer to volunteer for the project. if it wasn't for this, i would be cashing in a sick day. i waited for alex to arrive at work, talked to him online about the state of the project, then made my way into boston. the plan was i'd quickly do the code then make a graceful exit as soon as it was done.

i ended up spending 5 hours at work, left close to 4pm. with the help of the holy trinity (cough drops, robitussin, box of kleenex), i was able to make it through the day, carefully suppressing my coughs, washing my hands whenever possible to keep them germ free. for lunch, a container of wonton soup takeout from king fung restaurant. i could barely taste what i was eating.

going home at 4pm is a strange time. the trains aren't very crowded yet, and i'm curious about the other people traveling with me. are they like, going home early because of illness? or maybe they came in to work early, so they can leave early? perhaps they're students. walking home, i heard a cardinal singing high up in a tree. spring time, just before the leaves come out, is a good time for birdwatching.

there's a clarity that comes with disease. afflicted with illness, my attention is laser focused on a single goal, to get well. i live day by day, with no regard for the future. it's almost primal, a matter of basic survival, and everything else seems to be of lesser importance in comparison. when i got home, i changed my sheets, took a shower, drank a shot of robitussin, then crawled into bed. i couldn't fall asleep. with no desire for a repeat performance of last night's viral induced insomnia, i got out of bed and went to watch some television, hoping i'd get drowsy eventually.

glad i decided to stay awake, because i watched a really interesting documentary on cinemax (who would've thought they have those? that's not why i watch cinemax for) called bus 174:

"in june of 2000, 20-year-old rio de janeiro resident sandro do nascimento hijacked a commuter bus and held eleven hostages at gunpoint. this documentary features alarmingly up-close footage from the spontaneous 25+ hour event that triggered massive amounts of gripping news coverage of one man's personal crisis. cited by newsweek magazine as one of the top five documentaries of the year, this film examines do nascimento's childhood, which was filled with poverty, social ostracism and violence, while also featuring ex-post-facto interviews with hostages, law enforcement officers, journalists, and friends and family of the hijacker."

dinner, mantou and some meatballs, then hopefully a peaceful night of rest.