When he was sick he was busy, as though about to hatch something or operate on himself. He scarcely replied to questions, not because he was bad tempered but because he was concentrating: the better he was at being ill, the less time he would have to spend on it.
~ Nicolas Bouvier, The Way of the World
In the garden of Eden no one had much to say and no one got sick. If there was ever such thing as a primordial fall from grace, it was when Adam first opened his mouth to blab about the flowers. That’s when people started catching flu. I lay more immediate blame for my current cold on the man who sat behind me on the train and spent thirty minutes rapturously yawning and sighing. He must have been sick, or else drunk. But his exhalations smelled more of bacteria than alcohol. My father: now there’s a man who knew how to be sick, like Bouvier’s friend. He would close himself in his room and not say a word or get out of bed until he was well – and it never took more than a day or two. If I don’t get over colds faster than I do, it’s probably because I never shut up.