It's the day after Easter. I am sick as a dog.
I am in the kitchen. I am coughing.
Alice would like very much to see the Easter egg on the counter. It is a lovely blue and green egg with sprinkles of glitter.
I pick it up. I hand it to her. Her eyes light up.
Alice: It's so.... sparkly.
I look at my fingers. They are covered in glitter. Through my influenza fog, I think of how hard this stuff will be to wash off. I think about how even after a thorough washing, I will still, hours later, find flecks of glitter on my fingers and likely my face.
Me: I hate sparkles.
Alice is silent. Her smile melts. She walks from the room.
Me: Oh, Alice... that's not what I meant...
She is gone. I am coughing. I must sit down.
Alice: Do boys not like glitter?
Me: Oh, Alice. Boys like glitter. I'm really sorry I said I hate sparkles. I didn't mean it like I said it. I should have said I don't like how they stick to my skin. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. I think glitter is very pretty.
We are friends again.
I sit on the couch next to Jane. I pull a handkerchief from my pocket and blast my nose into it.
Jane is staring at me. She says nothing. She seems... displeased.
Me: You okay?
Her eyes narrow.
Jane: Is it true you hate sparkles?