My nose plugs up and I can hardly breathe when I’m around cats too long. I don’t know why I’m allergic, I just am. One time I stayed over a friend’s place with three cats, and I woke up with red hives. It was a surprise that I was able to fall asleep at all, because I could have sworn I sneezed over 100 times until the underside of my nose bled.
One of my best friends invited me over to visit her childhood home this fall. Her mother lives near Boston, and unlucky for me another downside of East Coast living is the enormous pollen count. I remember countless days when I couldn’t go to work because my allergies were so bad. Ever since moving out West, my reactions have been much tamer. The San Francisco Bay acts as a natural filter, sucking out stagnant air to sea.
In addition to being out East, my friend’s mother also has a couple of dogs and cats! She sees this trip as a fun homecoming to introduce me to where she grew up. To me, I have no attachment there and it’s like going to a gas chamber for vacation. Imagine only being able to breathe through your two front teeth. That’s how I feel sometimes when allergies attack. You can’t get enough oxygen, so you aren’t able to speak. You lose energy and let sleep take over even though it’s in the middle of the day.
THE QUIET PLEA