I went to my lake house this June weekend and my family was all attacked by the evil pollen, invisibly scurrying through the air to puff up any eye in sight. My dad got the attack and his eyes swelled up instantaneously; we all speculated if he was coming down with something because surely the undetectable particles in the air couldn’t be to blame. Being sick in the summer is the worst, my mom said, looking at my dad’s puffy eyes with disgust, craning her neck further and further away with the fear of catching the June bug. June used to be the normal time for me in high school when my Parotitis would stop by for another visit—attack of the mystery illness that left my face inflated and screaming for attention—so a day in bed, watching others swelter in the summer rays for a golden glow, feels all too natural.
For most of us though, using up our sick bank feels right only in the winter, when we’ve juiced up on the flu vaccine and look forward to snuggling up by the fire with our tissue box—when hot chicken noodle soup is the perfect remedy for the brisk winter chill. But there’s something about being sick in the 90 degree weather (when we could be doing a cannon ball into the deep end or catching that drip of our melting soft ice cream from the edge of our cone, the smell of barbecue in the air)—something about it that feels oh so unfair.