When I was in seventh grade, I got pink eye. My eyes reddened, alternating between gooey and crusty, and I missed a few days of school. On my first day back, I handed my excuse note to my Texas history teacher—a tiny women whose name I can't remember—and she remarked that pink eye was typically a girl's disease. “Why?,” I asked. Because girls share makeup and thus spread the disease among themselves. I felt awkward as she told me this.
Now, twenty-four years later, I went to New York for a few days and came back with pink eye. Pink eye is nothing like what I remember. First of all, it's an upper respiratory infection that happens to also affect the eyes. My first symptoms were a sore throat, headache, and sinus infection—the same as with a cold. Only after taking a few days off from work did I happen to look in the mirror, and I was startled to discover I had pink eye. (Laura was still in New York and thus unable to alert me to the horridness of my swollen red eye sooner.)
Here's another new thing about pink eye: being sick for three weeks. After the first week, I thought I had recovered—notice the ‘A’ Mountain hikes above—but my optimism proved unfounded and I soon thereafter relapsed—the details of which aren't worth writing about.
It brings to mind something Oliver Sacks once wrote: it's not so much the person having the disease as it is the disease having the person.