For most of my life, I lived allergy-free, and I thought that all the allergy sufferers I knew were tremendous babies. Their runny noses and itchy eyes elicited no sympathy from me. Part of me believed that their allergies were subconscious, psychosomatic ploys for attention. I was such a bitch.
On Friday afternoon, I went for a long walk, made a trip to the bank, and shopped for a new pair of jeans, but no matter how fantastic my ass looked swathed in dark grey denim and black sequins, I could not draw attention away from my swollen eyes. I looked like I had been sobbing for days after having possibly had a stroke, because my body has decided that it is severely allergic to the outside world, which manifests itself in a deep, continuous sting that makes the left side of my face wince and my eyes water and burn against the onslaught of fresh air. I have the face of Quasimodo whenever I go out for a walk.
Later that evening, I made the mistake of walking out in the natural air again, and it crawled inside my face and left me wincing and crying and snuffling up globs of snot, so I figured that it was time to suck it up and purchase antihistamines. I trolled through the allergy medications aisle at our local drugstore and was having a difficult time trying to make out the tiny print on the packages with my bleary eyes, so I grabbed a package of Chlor-Triplon (Chlor-Trimeton for you people in the United States), because, firstly, I was able to read the brand name through all the gunk that was coating my eyeballs, and, secondly, because I remembered that my mother gave it to me back in grade four to control the gross amounts of snot I produced for a period of several months for no apparent reason.
I took the first pill about an hour before I went to bed, which was a good idea as it turns out, because when the package warned that it might cause dizziness and drowsiness, it wasn't kidding. I felt stoned. I don't mean that I felt a little out of it. I mean that I couldn't feel my lips. It also cleared up my sinuses. This stuff is awesome.
I turned to the Palinode this afternoon and said, "I feel like that woman with the kid and the old husband and the bleached hair. You know who I'm talking about."
"Who?" he asked.
"That lady with the drugs and the media guy and the pills. You know. The one dressed like a stripper who married that ancient man."
"There are a lot of famous women who fit that description."
"You know. I'm all out of nouns."
"Anna Nicole Smith?"
"Yeah! I'm like her but without the clown makeup."
My strong reaction to this medication might explain some things about my year in the fourth grade. My teachers were concerned about me that year. I had difficulty paying attention and often drifted off into my own world up inside my head. I was given IQ tests, because they worried about my intelligence, but when I tested out to be above average, they worried that I might have some level of hearing impairment. I took hearing tests, and it turned out that my hearing was above average, as well. I was a dreamer, a thinker, and an all around different kind of kid to begin with, but now that I've experienced Chlor-Triplon again all these years later, I wouldn't be surprised if that had something to do with my inability to concentrate on learning long division back in 1982.
Who would have guessed that the first year I spent stoned was when I was eight and nine years old? History just keeps rewriting itself.