It resides in all the lovely blooms and blossoms. The wind blows, and it’s airborne. It floats, it falls. It coats our porch. It covers our car. It sticks to our terriers. It overshadows the splendor of spring. The pollen invasion is on.
Spring in Mayberry: I sneeze, my nose runs more than usual, my eyes weep. This year though, pollen has a new trick. One day I’m celebrating Easter brunch with my family, that evening I’m noticing my voice sounds scratchy. Next day, I wake up and the pollen reaction has stolen my voice. Since my symptoms are elevated and I answer phones at my office, reluctantly I opt to take a sick day.
I text people, pecking out letters on my zoomed-in phone screen. Can’t do speech-to-text with this rasp. I whistle at my dogs–my friend who sings professionally let me know whispering is bad, but whistling is fine–they look at me all confused, waiting for my usual commands. It kinda works. Stockton is decidedly not a fan of me whistling in response to him. Ok, only for the dogs.
Around the same time, our washer seizes up. Stockton and I drive to a local appliance store. The door chime sounds, the sales guy greets us. He speaks about our options, I nod and smile. There’s only so many ways you can silently answer open questions. We finish looking at models and walk to a desk.
“How was your weekend?” the sales guy asks, as he searches additional inventory on his computer. He looks over his screen and peers at me through his glasses. I turn to Stockton and motion at my throat.
“Oh, pretty good,” Stockton says for us, I imagine him remembering full plates at brunch and later playing with our niece. He continues, “But, the allergies have been pretty bad. My wife even lost her voice.” The sales guy commiserates and I feel less awkward in my silence. Maybe he will take pity on us and give us a better price on the floor model stackable front-loaders we are interested in.
Later we eat dinner. Stockton talks and I text him responses. We watch Bosch on Netflix and my husband automatically tells me about items I may be having trouble figuring out and characters who show up after hiatus. It’s like he can read my mind.
This week as my voice returns in squeaks and coughs, I choose my words for efficiency. It hurts if I talk too much. I edit my speech ruthlessly. It’s a good reminder that sometimes it’s okay to be silent, sometimes it’s okay to keep it short.
Do you have allergies? How is spring going for you? What is your favorite Easter candy? Tell me about it.