Eli, our computer supporter extraordinaire, came into the office looking like someone had beaten her. Her eyes were swollen and cloudy, puffy and red, and she had the aspect of someone hurt.
“What happened to you?!?!” I exclaimed considerately.
“Spring,” she replied.
The clear mountain air, the crisp cool evenings and the ding-dong-damned, dusty, pollen-laden wind are all signs that spring is on its way in Santa Fe. Get out your Claritin and pack up the Visine because we’re going out tonight baby.
Last week I got on my bike to head home and, crossing the busy intersection of Paseo de Peralta and Guadalupe, was almost knocked to the road by a raging wind. By the time I got back to my house – a 10-minute ride – I could feel the coating of dust on my face like the powder you’d put on before hitting the stage in a play. You can’t really see it and it’s not like a dust storm, but when the wind kicks up and particles get flying you begin to notice it.
Add to that the fact that most of the homes, mine included, are made of mud and you’ve created a particulate wonderland. Carolyn Fairman, executive director of Coffee Kids and allergy sufferer (thought not to the extent of Eli) told me that the allergies don’t usually hit people until after two years of living here.
“That’s when it happened to me and now every spring I can count on it,” she said.
The Santa Fe Reporter, local Shepherd Express-like rag, even featured a whole page on allergies in their spring guide. And, in the inimitable fashion of Santa Fe, focused mostly on holistic, homeopathic remedies, biometrology (?!?!) and acupuncture as ways of confronting sinus hell.
Given the fact that I am so nasally-endowed, I’m figuring the allergy waiting period for me will drop from two years to approximately 10 seconds.
So, while others are trying to figure out the proper ratio of garlic, stinging nettle, quercetin and echinacea to ingest, or which needles to poke where, I’m trying to figure out some kind of insertable nose screen.
Something like a lint trap with a wire frame that can be inserted, kind of like a diaphragm (even though I have no idea how those really work except from some crude drawing during high school sex ed, so don’t ask me, I just thought it’d be fun to put that in here). Maybe I can just wear a bandana everywhere and then when it’s not needed I can just wear it around my neck like Ricardo Montalban, the famed latin lover of Fantasy Island.
I can remember wearing bandanas over my face back on the farm when we’d be mowing hay, stacking the bales, sweating and feeling the dust and bits of hay stick to our skin. And then after a long day, I’d remove the bandana and swirling eddies would ring each nostril where the dust creeped in around the edges.
Yeah, that probably won’t work so well either, and I don’t think I have the patience to create my nostril strainer.
I guess maybe I’ll just pick up a bunch of that herbal stuff and try to hang out with more New Mexicans since the article in The Reporter also said: “Recent studies point out that social interaction has an immune boosting effect.”
So, what’re you up to Eli?