Cedar pollen sucks. Eyes run like faucets, noses drain per(freaking)petually straight out of your face, while violent sneezes launch copious amounts of mucus farther than an Olympic Triple Jump. It’s hard to breathe and it’s even more difficult not to tear your crying eyes out of their insanely itchy sockets. Central Texans drip, itch, wheeze, sneeze and snot their way through life, hating it, from December till mid-February. “Cedar Fever” my ass. You wish you had a fever! And this happens every year, yes, and we relive this nightmare and bitch and moan like we didn’t know it was coming. But this year, this year is the Big One. We’ve had record levels of pollen, more than we’ve measured in our air in over 16 years. Those years between did not prepare us for the mother of cedar hell.
I’m a miserable, soft and goopy mess. I’ve lost enough bodily fluids through my nose and eyes that I alone may end this drought. Well, I might if I didn’t need 3 to 4 showers a day to wash the pollen out of my hair, and off my skin. I’ve mastered the “quick change” art and the cold nasal flush. Who knew that squirting cold salt water into your raw nostrils and through your sinuses could make you moan with pleasure?
The sane thing to do, and the recommended-by-meteorologists method is to stay INSIDE in the filtered air confines of home. Wash the dogs, wash the linens, vacuum the couch and stay in arm’s reach of the Neti-Pot. For god’s sake, do not go outside! The problem with that insane logic is that the weather is stunning; sunny, beautiful, fairly temperate by the afternoon and glorious. Who, in this hill country mecca of all things outdoors, could possibly resist that level of meteorological perfection?
So, we don’t. We stuff our pockets full of tissue and wear clothes with soft sleeves. We hike among the exploding junipers. We play tennis on dusted courts. We suffer like the damned. We mouth breathe. We snot rocket, but we go outside where nature speaks. We listen, but we cannot hear (or smell, or see) the voice of reason when Mother Nature calls to tell us to go back inside.
And just for fun, Austin’s own Kinky Friedman singing about Mucus.