When I woke up this morning there was 12 inches of fresh, fluffy snow on the ground here in Northfield. It was all crap though. You couldn’t even make snowballs out of the stuff, or build snowmen, or dig sweet snow forts. I guess you could go sledding. But who the hell goes sledding?
On top of it all, I have a cold. It’s the worst one I have ever had, ever. Probably got it from school; some jerk student who sneezed on every door handle in Armstrong Hall or something like that. My mom would say it was because I didn’t wear a scarf last week when I rode my bike twenty-five miles into the country on icy, gravel roads, and then twenty-five miles back in a head-wind. What does she know? Scarves are stupid anyways.
Whatever the origin of this disease, one thing was certain: every time I tried to blow my nose, the cement-like stuff up there didn’t come out. Nothing happened. It just felt like something inside my ears was going to turn inside out, or that I’d blow so hard I’d crap myself.
But this morning I bought a neti pot. I don’t know why they call them neti pots. They should call them awesome pots because they are awesome.
When I got the thing home, I mixed in the 1 tsp of natural, organic, free-range salt with 8oz of warm water. I stuck the end of the spout up my left nostril, and like it said, I tilted my head down and sideways so the warm water would flow into one nostril and out the other, flushing out the source of all my troubles.
On my first attempt I almost drown. “Did Dick Cheney invent this thing?” I thought. Cruel and unusual. The salt water went in the one nostril but it backed up into my mouth and went down my wind pipe. It reminded me of my first swim in the ocean, jumping in with my mouth wide open, shocked at how salty it was. It was like that except there were no hot chicks to pull me out of the kitchen sink (which I was doubled over into) and give me mouth-to-mouth.
When I finally caught my breath, I gathered the courage to try again like any bad ass such as myself would do. I was not going to let some sissy, little piece of porcelain get the best of me. Full of vigor, I cocked my head sideways like the way a stupid dog does when you tell it to sit; inserted the spout, and the warm, salty liquid into my head. My brain began to tingle and burn. It felt like I had just been dared to snort a line of pepper and did it. Despite the burn, I continued holding my breath. And just about when I couldn’t do it any longer, the dams broke free. I closed one eye and was able to see the stuff coming out of my nose. It was a bubbly, yellow, sludge. There were chunks of stuff every now and then. And I think I saw a few long lost nickels drop into the drain.
I could breathe again. I could smell that the garbage was ripe and ready to be taken out. I looked outside at the children playing in the fresh fluff. The sun glinted off the snow in just the right way. Birds were chirping. There was laughter in the world again. And I was sure, absolutely positive, that I could smell flowers—Daffodils and Daisies—under the snow, waiting for spring.