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24th of July

The Summer Cold


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For 2 weeks, I’ve been in a fistfight with – the Summer Cold.

 

Related to the Common Cold of Winter months (somehow). The Summer Cold has power and it wields it mightily. For weeks. Precious Summer weeks.

I can attest to its power.

 

Two Saturdays ago, I blamed it on pollen. HAHA

Chattanooga, TN has the highest pollen index (yes, that’s a real thing) in the nation. And, I’m from southern Kentucky where pollen begats more pollen and the bees even pray for release. But, I blamed pollen. Then, I blamed Chattanooga. Said, “Aw, it’ll go away when it rains.”

Pshaw. It didn’t go away. And, I spent the better part of last Saturday, trying to walk.

My highlight (or lowlight) was a BP gas station.

I had a DVD in my possession and it was due back at a Redbox ASAP. So, I saw the red, metal tube in my periphery, and decided to pull over for gas and return the disc.

I stepped out of the vehicle and a nearby temperature gauge read 96 or something. The sweat beaded on my forehead. My nostrils were red from paper towels, friction. I managed to lift the gas lever, swipe the card, push Unleaded 87. Then, when the tank clicked full, I felt my sore nose again, and my head – close to spontaneous combustion.

I looked longingly towards the Redbox–a distance of only 100 feet–and said to myself, Feet, you can do this, and I sneezed. I stopped dead in my tracks. It’s one of the few times I considered succumbing to an ailment and I’ve had a few (heart surgery, diabetes). But, the feet kept moving somehow. The will to live.

I pushed ‘Return Movie’ and let the machine do its retrieval. For a second, I hallucinated that it struggled in the 100-degree blazes to take the movie from my clammy hands. It chug-chug-chugged but eventually clasped the disc and safely tucked it away, inside its metal heart.

I turned and realized I’d forgotten my shades at home, my vampire moment was coming to fruition. A sunburn could happen in a matter of seconds. But, I found my car’s door. I slid into the seat and clung to its fabric as it did mine. I pulled onto the highway without looking either direction and struggled to locate a Kleenex, somewhere anywhere.

To my surprise (and thanks to God), the vehicle found its way home. I was a happy returnee. Saturday bled into Sunday and now, the next Friday. I believe, with my whole heart, Summer Colds are genuine clingers.

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2 Comments
  • I hate to laugh at your misery…. but I pictured all of this and wish I could animate what I saw as a caricature drawing – poor fellow

    • It was misery. The caricature drawing would be accurate. It felt surreal. I’m happy to be moving away from that bit by bit. The cough is still there. Glad it happened “after” the traveling.

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