Spring has once again delivered a swift, straight-fisted punch to the face, leaving my eyes burning, my ears ringing, and my nose leaking inordinate amounts of mucus.

Goddamn I hate spring. Let me try to convey this in a sufficiently eidetic manner: I hate spring in its springy face, with its chirping birds, twitting about, hopping from tree to blooming tree, snatching at bees and other pollen-spreading bastards, trying to avoid all the sex-crazed animals busy shagging and shedding fur.

Dander! Goddamn dander!

It’s enough to turn me into a valetudinarian. And before you go telling me this is just iatrogenic nonsense, I ain’t even been to a doctor in I don’t know how long—so you just perpend that! Quash that nonsense, it does. And the phlegm—the goddamn phlegm! Nothing like waking up in the morning, pellucid goo dripping from your phlegmatic face. And I mean that in the “I have phlegm” sense … not the phlegmatic, unemotional sense. Stupid humors….

And I know what you’re saying: “Ooo, look at Chris and his delicate sinuses. He has to protect his muliebrity!”

Well, shivaree my shin bones! I may be muliebral but at least I ain’t a mugwump! I know where I stand.Not to be eristic or anything, but I feel I just need to spell it out in majuscule letters: I … HATE … SPRING!

Alright, look. Forgive my malapert manner. Join me, now, for a tipple. I don’t want there to be any afterclaps because of my springtime tirade. Only give me a moment and my frustrated cries will drift away until they are little more than suspired soughs on the wind. Sigh … it’s started warming up in ole Anyang, too. I was sweating today the second I stepped into the sun, adumbrating the desiccating heat of the coming summer, and its Gobi-sand-carrying wind. Now, I’m no doula … but that can’t be good … for a pregnant lady….

OK, you might have noticed that my vocabulary has broadened a bit. Well, I’ve signed up for Word of the Day emails from (of which I am a bit of a habitué), it being pretty much the omnific word website in my mind. I have hopes that it will take me from plucky linguist to a veritable sesquipedalian. And, who knows, maybe after that I’ll achieve jnana! Ha ha ha….

Naturally, you learn the words better if you use them, and I’ve been a bit lax in that department. Thus, this post was a bit of playing catch-up. Now, don’t worry, don’t worry. I’m not matriculating into some … crazy … Scottish heraldry … club, with crazy … chevron patterns. I just thought it would be nice to add a little better verbiage to the ole Brain Dump. Does that make me a quisling?

Ah, well, it’s late. Perhaps I should retire. Soon I’ll be peacefully asleep, dreaming away like a sawyer on the proverbial log. I hope my new vocabulary has not caused you to vamoose. I truly do have the best of intentions.

Don’t be afraid to kibitz with a comment. I’ll call it my baksheesh….


Ode to April

T. S. Eliot called April the cruelest month, and every year when it comes around I’m inclined to agree.

What does April mean to me? The rebirth of life from winter’s cold death. And with their new lives, the Earth’s creatures bring with them spores. Dander. Pollen. Fungus. April is itchy eyes. A burning throat. Sneezing fits that last minutes at a time. I—hate—the spring. There is never a day when I can’t be on medication. Claritin, Mucinex, Flonase, Benadryl, Zirtec, Allegra. I never see the green, green fields because when I approach them my eyes flood with tears till I rub them raw or run away.

My allergies woke me up the other day, because my twenty-four hour medication ran out during the night. My nose was a mucusy mess. I could barely open my eyes. I sneezed somewhere in the area of fifteen times with no more than three to five seconds between sneezes. When I stumbled to my feet to get more medication, I nearly fell over because my equilibrium had been obliterated by the massive sinus pressure. I had no idea the body could produce so much phlegm.

“Allergies?” people ask. “A little sneezing never bothered anyone. Can’t you just get over them?” But they don’t understand. If I do nothing—if I merely live—my sinuses will become infected. Sinusitis can set in. Just from allergies I can get migraines, fevers, blurred vision, aching teeth. This is what spring is for me: an extended cold season. I never know when I might wake up with the roof of my mouth raw and pockmarked because I had been rubbing it with my tongue in my sleep. I never know when I’m sick in the spring or when it’s just my allergies. And so I engage in a never-ending, and often fruitless, battle for control of my body.

April is finally over, and I survived. Will May be any better? Probably not—I have no illusions. I won’t be able to relax until August, September, when the Northern Hemisphere begins to cool again. I don’t particularly like the cold, having to bundle up under as many as four layers. But if this is my only alternative then I will gladly don the heaviest coat, face the most biting winds.

During the spring, the world comes alive, and, on my worst days, I wish I were dead.