It travels up through my nasal passage and down into the back of my mouth. I tilt my head back and maneuver it onto my tongue, being careful not to lose it down my throat, and bring my head back level. I depress my tongue into a bowl and hold it there until I can get to a trash –
It’s one of our quality managers. I don’t deal with him directly, but he knows who I am so I can’t not say hello back. I slide it behind my underbite and anchor it with my tongue and honk back at him: “’Ornin’”
He’s a fast-moving gentleman, conveniently so for this little pickle I’m in. I briskly walk back to my desk and into my seat. I look behind me, pull my trash can over, look behind me again, and quietly drop it into the can. A wiry drip hangs off my tongue, and I rip it off with my fingers quick.
Welcome to my life this last week and a half.
Where I go, the sound of a tired lawn mower engine follows. I don’t get sick often; but when I do, my throat is too shredded to support speech and my wife has to call into my office for me to declare I’m out. I spent two days last week at home, carrying a box of Kleenex around with me and counting down the minutes ‘till my next Mucinex. That’s over, thankfully, but a week later the bug’s legs are still twitching.
I’ve ejected spittle on sidewalks from downtown Minneapolis to downtown Stillwater, sniffled in boardrooms and hem-hemmed in ballrooms. The frequent trips to the restroom brought on by my “work bladder” now come with a side of nose-blows. Red, white, green and yellow: I’ve made some really cool marble designs on those TP squares, but I’m not going to share them with you.
This week, while the Twins were teeing off on Angels pitchers I had never heard of, Ducky was taking pictures of me and posting them on Facebook. I’m pretty sure he snapped every shot while I was pushing phlegm up out of my throat. During the games, the sleeves of my “crap jacket” played the role of a giant felt Kleenex. Because God knows I couldn’t miss “scrap-heap hurler guy” throwing another meatball to Trevor Plouffe.
The only victory I had this week came when our $100 bar tab was run up on Ducky’s credit card, and my night to pay got rained out.
An Aside that Matters: For two games, I made almost as many stops at the Kramarczuk’s meat stand (5) than the Angels scored runs (6). Offense is supposed to be their strong point. Their pitchers are uniformed tee-ball tees. They are going to be awful. And guess what? The Dolphins’ first game is just over four months away … and they’re going to be awful. God I hate sports sometimes.
All the while, I’ve been swipe, swipe, swiping away on the surface of my smartphone. At this point, I’m not so sure I’d eat something that had fallen onto it – and I just had eight-day-old chicken for lunch the other day.
I was just told I sound much better today, but a mucus-tracker would find a trail of green stuff drawn across everything I’ve touched since last Monday. Keyboards, check. Steering wheel, check. Wife, check. In other news, “Fuck up a cuddle” is crossed off my bucket list.
Ever drop a seven-letter on Words With Friends while blowing your nose while taking a dump? If not, son, then you ain’t like me.
You have to work your way up to that. Wipe your nose on a Hardee’s bag while you’re making a left turn, and you’re off to a good start.