Today I would like to talk about that wonderful friend of basically every living organism, disease. From colds to the gift that keeps on giving to ebola, we all have had some experience with these invaders.

First, the word itself needs to be understood. Disease. Look at it. Dis-ease. So...not ease. Or simply uncomfortable.

The etymology may come from somewhere else, but for all of you about to throw a dictionary at me, I know you can't because the only dictionaries that have etymologies in them are rather large and the people that would throw dictionaries in the first place don't have enough muscle to mass to pick them up, not to mention hurl them more than an inch.

My dear reader, I know what it's like to be uncomfortable. Sitting in a chair for too long. Accidentally bumping into an ex. Being caught masturbating. Catching someone else masturbating. Watching drunken coworkers fondle each other at Christmas parties. Watching Eat, Pray, Love.

These are uncomfortable. A disease transcends all of that. In the space of a day, one bad piece of sushi can make a person who's feeling on top of the world wish they were dead because they can barely make it to the toilet before the contents of their bowels explode, regardless of if pants are still on.

Gross. Also, related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF1pIMgE8FA

I can bitch about being sick all day, but being the optimist that I am, I thought that it'd be best to focus on the joys of disease.

We ought to come up with a better term. Disease just doesn't cut it. Biohazard?

Let's go back to our exploding diarrheaist. If he is lucky, then he also picked up the flu the other day and has concurrent symptoms like headache, stuffy nose, and fever. The symptom he should be most thankful for is the stuffy nose because my god, if the regular stuff that comes out of the butt is nasty, it seems like a sickness manages to marinate and age it for 3 years in the intestines before finally unleashing it upon the unsuspecting public. With a stuffy nose, the offender is blissfully unaware as the toilet becomes a deathtrap for the next person to use it.

On the plus side, the stench kills roaches too. 

Though it may sound strange, a fever allows us to experience the world in a different way than we're used to. And although I may have a box of tissues next to me for all the wrong reasons, my perceptions are so mangled and my mind so sluggish it might as well be the equivalent of taking a hallucinatory drug. For me, fever dreams involving flying skateboards in psychedelic blues and pinks are the norm. The resulting abstraction seems like an LSD trip into a parallel universe where I actually enjoy modern art and can glean some meaning from their colorful, amorphous shapes.

That would be a weird parallel universe. I understand modern art as much as I understand ancient Greek, which is to say not much, though ancient Greek art is much more appealing.

Finally, to top off the bright side of disease, allow me to post this picture of a recent oral ulcer I managed to get.

Recently, I’ve also been downloading a bunch of photo-enhancing apps for my iPhone, which allowed me to edit the saturation and create a field-of-depth to really make it “pop out.” And more professional, or so they say.

Though how one can make an oral ulcer look “professional” is beyond me.

Can you see what I saw? A smiley face! If you have more imagination, you may have even noted that it looks a little like Mickey Mouse.

It all started because I decided to eat too fast one day and chomped down on the inside of my mouth with both sets of teeth, hard. Whenever there’s too much trauma, I think my body doesn’t know how to heal the proper way and decides to destroy all the surrounding tissue and just start from scratch. Needless to say, the past couple of weeks have been awful for tea, noodles, and teethbrushing. Only yesterday could I eat a bowl of soba without wincing.

Plus side: Even my oral ulcers are happy. 

I am on the tail end of a rather nasty bug, and after being Typhoid Jon for the past 2 weeks and going through countless trees in the quest to clear my sinuses, I'm down to a few tissues a day. I believe the lesson that I always relearn is to be thankful for my health when I have it, and chew slower.

Perhaps most importantly, I remember to always to look on the bright side of life. It might just be a better world if we can view the gift that keeps on giving as an actual gift.

Just maybe.

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