Thursday, December 29, 2011

holiday overdose

You learn new things all the time, and recently I learned that Robitussin is a recreational drug for people who can't get their hands on real drugs.  I woke up two days before the Holiday Renegade Fair with an itch in my throat and an ache around my glands.  Uh-oh.  I dragged myself over to my neighborhood Vietnamese noodle shop and downed a bowl of Pho with lots of extra red chili to, you know, burn out the sickness.  Then, since I could still walk, I went to the studio and worked all day.  I repeated this routine on Friday.  When I  woke upon Saturday-- the first day of the show-- I had a terrible cough and hardly any voice. 

Saturday was so busy I didn't have a lot of time to think about how crappy I felt.  But by Sunday I had this dry, hacky cough that wouldn't stop.  So I swig down 3 or 4 doses of  Robitussin thinking I can drown the cough in suppressant.  Isn't that how it works?  You just coat the throat in medicine and feel better?  About 30 minutes later I stood up and had two thoughts that occurred one right after the other.  The first was, "Whoa, I am like, reeeeaaaally dizzzzzzy."  That thought came very slowly, and I swayed in my booth as I thought it.  The second thought was, "Whoa, I think I may puke right here, right now."  That thought came very slowly too, which alarmed me, because I have a fear of puking in public.  If I was going to puke, I needed to run immediately, and not slowly, to the nearest exit door, which was about 100 yards away.

I've never puked in public, but I still have the fear.  One time, I was really high and thought I puked in public when I actually didn't.  That was a long time ago, before I was a potter.

Oh, and there was a third thought:  "I think I drank too much Robitussin."  And then I started coughing so hard I almost did pass out and then puke. 

Overdosing on Robitussin is kind of like tripping, but without the interesting thoughts or pretty colors.  I was not registering the activity around me in real-time, so my responses were delayed, which was throwing off my timing with customers.  It was also kind of like being drunk, but without the good-timey feeling.  I couldn't make my face do what I wanted it to do, so my lips and eyes and eyebrows were not matching up in expression.  Think about that for a second.  It was also kind of like being on nitrous,  I couldn't really feel my body.  I was trying to make change for someone, and ripped a twenty dollar bill right in half as I was trying to unfold it and hand it to them.  We both stared at the bill, and then I tried to make it become whole again by holding the edges together.  I am magic.  It didn't work.  My stage presence drained slowly away along with my sales as I just sat in my booth, kind of melting off my seat.  My friend, who didn't know I was sick, brought me a frosty beer, which I just stared at as it slowly warmed up.  You know I'm about to die when I cannot drink a beer.

My brain came back online about 2 hours before the show closed, and I looked around and realized almost everything was gone from my shelves, there was a spilled bottle of Robitussin on the floor next to me, and a big pile of money in my cash box.  So it actually was a very merry christmas, I hope yours was just as good!