READING THE MENU AT BAKERS CRUST

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I'm just emerging from my spider hole, blinking in the sunlight, after a short but intense cold, the worst I've had in a while. It started out in my sinuses, and it felt as if I were wearing a pair of swim goggles several sizes too small for me. Filled with onion juice. I know what that feels like (except for the onion juice part) because back when I used to swim at the Y, I purposefully wore too-tight goggles because I was pathologically afraid of leakage. I hate things getting in my eyes, even close to my eyes. When I have to have one of those tests where they press some contraption against your eyeball to measure pressure or whatnot, that's like waterboarding to me. I confess all sorts of secrets to make the terror end. One ophthalmologist actually had to leave work early, he was so upset by what he heard. Don't worry, you don't have to feel sorry for him: I found out years later that he was a bigamist. I'm trying to think of a witty comment involving bifocals, but it's not coming to me. But that reminds me, I did have a bout of double vision a few years ago, had to wear an eye patch and all that. The doctors immediately suspected a tumor the size of baseball flourishing in my brain--a gooey, misshapen gray baseball that nobody in their right mind would want to play with, let alone autograph--and ordered up a battery of arcane tests that consisted mostly of treating me like luggage going through airport security, with the difference that it cost me several thousand dollars more. When I finally got up the never to tell them that I had sneezed in a very complex way while eating spaghettini, and felt my ocular discomfort immediately afterwards, they probed in an unpleasant manner for a few moments, and extracted a small piece of pasta from the orbital whatchamacallit, and my vision became singular again. But I'm still paying off the thousands of dollars, or pretending to. Anyway, I wore those swim goggles so tight, I could see sideways without turning my head, like a frog. Except at the Y, you don't want to see what's in the lane next to you. It's as if someone had dumped in huge gobs of suet in hopes of attracting a shark. I've never seen so many out-of-shape people as at the Y, which has to be some kind of irony, I think. Doesn't it? So anyways, the cold seems to be just about over, except the contents of my head don't move quite in sync with the protective outer coating, but at least it didn't cost me anything.