In the morning: my sinuses squeak open like a rusty gate. They literally emit a pitched squeal, like someone deflating a mostly-full inner tube by sitting on it. My eyes are Ping Pong balls trapped under a couch for six months and just now retrieved. My throat scratches. Nothing I do between April 2nd and May 31st will prevent me from waking up feeling like this.
I stumble for the kitchen cabinet and take my daily dose of generic allergy medication (free of pseudoephedrine). I bought this while drunk at the CVS around the corner a few months back. It’s a year’s supply: works for 24 hours, supposedly, and contains 365 little white pills. Given my typical schedule of suffering, this should last me for at least five years. Unless I upgrade from “buying allergy meds while drunk” to “consuming them while drunk” and drop twenty in a panic. Is it even possible to OD on allergy meds – not counting the ones that make you drowsy? Picture two uniforms, a plainclothes and an EMT standing over my corpse. “His body couldn’t handle having sinuses that clear. Wheel him out, boys.”
Living in the densely urban but unpredictably cold American Northeast, my allergy season runs somewhere between April and May. I can count on the odd cold snap to startle trees into silence, but once it gets warm there’s nothing I can do but suffer. I have stylish new glasses to ease my contact lenses, and I’ll soon have a decent vacuum to keep the apartment pollen-free. But until Memorial Day passes I just stagger through the morning and go to bed before midnight.
It could be worse.