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Austin

Cedar Is Not My Friend

It was my fifth or so January in Austin. I had heard rumors, stories and tales regarding the black magic practiced by the cedar of Central Texas. I had never seen nor experienced it.

Then it hit.

My eyes.

My nose.

My head.

My eyes were itchy. Either I couldn’t breathe out of my nose or I could buy a Kleenex factory and it still wouldn’t be enough. I couldn’t think. Even if I could have put together a thought, I couldn’t speak a sentence without a sneeze acting as a unrequested comma.

Was death at my door? Who got me sick? Did I wander into a chemical warfare testing area?

No. Cedar had finally won the fight. I was allergic. I don’t know what it is nor if there is actual science behind my logic, but my first years in Austin, I never had a problem. I think your body fights the allergen for a few years, then one day your immune system decides to call it quits.

I took two days off of work that January. I didn’t know what was causing my symptoms, but I knew I couldn’t function at work. Thankfully, someone mentioned cedar allergies and since I was desperate, I took something. It was seemingly a miracle (apparently, taking a drug and having it to exactly what it was designed to do isn’t something the Vatican consider worthy to raise up someone to the glory of the altars ). I was human again.

Fast-forward to 2011 and welcome to cedar hell. Thursday hit my like a ton of bricks. I searched the house for Claritin, but all we had was expired. I had appointments, so I took it and hoped for the best. Far from it, I cancelled my schedule and made haste to CVS. There was a line in the back for the pharmacist.

Everyone wanted the same thing. Claritin D. 12- or 24-hour? Brand or generic? 15-pack or 25-pack? None of those questions mattered to any of us. I think we all said “Same thing” to whatever the first guy in line bought.

Friday and Saturday normal… until it wore off. I took the 24-hour pill, but only 12 hours of relief. I really hope that the rain outside will knock down the pollen.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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