I brought up the white towel to my face again. I blinked, and my head throbbed. My nose felt rubbed raw. Why wasn’t the antihistamine working? I drank the hot tea, pointing my nose into the steam. But in a moment, my nose dripped and a single tear formed down my eye.
Several years ago, I would wake up on Saturday and as Chris called it, I was a hot mess. For three consecutive Saturdays, my face would run dry and I refused Benedryl, unhappy with its side effects of drowsiness and disorientation. But always, I would relent, wanting to decrease my suffering and the day would be again shot.
So yesterday, I was like that. At an afternoon holiday party, during the gift exchange and parading around plates of catered Chinese food. At an evening holiday party, I crouched in the corner of the sofa, trying to be attentive and open, but my eyes blinked and I wanted to put heavily wet towel over my face and lie down.
Then as we left (partially due to my demand), my allergies ceased. I felt better in the car as we zoomed away. Done with Christmas for another year. In the car, I passionately argued with certain lucidity about mobile technology and big data. Then as I stepped outside the car, the San Francisco wind blew past me. I felt fine, breathing the air. No tickles. No stuffiness. It’s as if the suffering never happening.
So then, was I allergic to Christmas? Or to just the spirit?