13 Feb Robert Girardi

I have a fever.

Yesterday I bought a fifteen-dollar digital thermometer at the Drug Loft on Second Avenue to monitor its progress. The fever hovers around 100, though it has been as high as 102.1 and as low as 99. My new thermometer, a beige plastic instrument in a clear plastic slipcase, beeps and displays the correct body temperature on a tiny green screen after barely a minute in the mouth. I know it is no more accurate than ordinary mercury thermometers, but there is something very comforting about its precise digital display and clear plastic slipcase. Every fifteen minutes or so I am able to monitor my temperature without the einconvenience of waiting or the uncertainty of shaking out the mercury and squinting to read tiny numbers etched on glass. Somehow, the digital thermometer, cheery and professional as a candy striper in an old folk’s home, makes the sick person feel less alone.