>The small mound of flesh between my upper lip and the bottom of my nose is raw and red. I work near the American Stock Exchange, and I think if the economy weren't so bad, people would assume I'm a cokehead as I walk to and from work. Or do coke addicts not have red streaks coming out of their noses? (I only know one coke fiend, and I always forget that she is a cokehead because she looks so normal and I like her a lot, but I digress...)

If I'm not mistaken for an avid consumer of white powder, the other alternative is a victim of advanced stage syphilis. OK, I don't know anyone with this condition either, but I have read that it can lead to the suffer's nose rotting off. Parts of my nose look like they could slough off my face at any moment. The irritation is so bad that regular lotion or moisturizer does nothing; I smear Vaseline on my face. The shininess does not help the overall appearance.

The good news is that although I look like a coke addled syphilitic person who shoplifted a Butterball turkey by shoving it down the front of my pants,* I believe that the end if in sight. Only a few more nights of the toxic shot of NyQuil, and I'm on my way back to whatever passes for normal for me. At any rate, I've probably used 400,000 Kleenexes throughout this week-plus ailment, so I'm thinking that a decent investment these days is in soft tissue products. At this point, anything not soft is like rubbing sandpaper on my face, and I figure that all the zillions of other people who are sick right now are coughing up (heh heh) to buy the good stuff.

*This has nothing to do with being ill, and everything to do with looking bad in the nice work pants I am forced to wear to work every day. Oh flattering jeans! How I miss thee!