Vice grip

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Today was not brought to you by the letters I, g, and E (nerd humor for histamine abundance/allergy reaction).  In fact, knock on petrified wood and cross your fingers and toes, but I haven’t had to hit the Benedryl once in the last 3 weeks.  What gives?

Well, I’ve been doing a little experiment.  After trying everything (yes, I do mean everything short of allergy shots), I may have stumbled on a winner…

Kreteks.  I read that partaking in such an activity is supposed to suppress the immune system, something with which I do have previous personal experience, so starting about a month ago, after a 4.5-year hiatus, I revived the old tradition.

And it’s fun.  Good Lord, is it ever.  It’s like riding a bike; you never exactly forget all the old scents, sensations, and thought processes.

Of course, I kind of have to keep it hidden.  (What?  By blabbing it to the world on a blog? Yeah, but this blog is relatively anonymous; it’s not like most of you know who I am.)  Only two people who know me personally (as in real life) actually know about this.  A few others will find out soon enough.

And the rest?  Not breathing a word.

Oh, come on.  It’s not like I’m freebasing crack or mainlining heroin.  Probably been there, done all that in previous lifetimes and this time, it’s like “meh”.  It’s a simple indulgence in kreteks, an endeavor that has so far managed to give my immune system something else to do besides attack harmless compounds like pollen, dust, and my own body.

I will say this, though: next time I see my younger sibling, I’m trying pot.  I know.  I’m probably the only person on earth (besides my spouse) who hasn’t tried pot.  One time, my siblings decided to spark one up in the back seat of the truck I was driving, so I couldn’t help but catch a whiff (and the glorious vision-waving effect of the Good Shit) but, as Clinton said, “I did not inhale”.  Only I’m actually telling the truth.

That will change the next time I see that sibling, though.  Hell, if my own parents made the Special Brownies (and they’re–almost–as straight as an arrow), then I see no harm in it.  Hell, it grows in the dirt.

The way I figure it, Mother Nature does not make mistakes.  My younger sibling, on the other hand, will probably smoke weed for life.  S/he does plan to have children someday (God(dess) help us all), and s/he said, “I plan to be the model of responsible drug use.  ‘Only on weekends, kids.  After your homework’.”  Laughed my ass off.

I barely drink, either.  I do indulge in a little white or blush wine, and when I do, life is fun and giddy.  Being mildly intoxicated is a blast.  Writing creatively while under the influence is killer.  I don’t like to go too far with alcohol, though–not at all; my liver doesn’t negotiate that well and it can renege on its end of the bargain if I push it too hard.  Been there, done that – in this lifetime.

Secret kretek use is its own bag of tea.  Code words must be exchanged, like “playing cards” (for packs) and “to regroup” (as a verb, for the act of stepping out–the idea of sitting on a deck or porch to figure out the daily gameplan, while indulging in a kretek).  Kretek scents don’t linger as much, so airing out a vehicle or clothing usually isn’t a problem.

Stepping out to regroup can be tricky, when done in secret.  Habitually waking up before other people in your household has its advantages, as does having a night-owl reputation in which you commonly stay up later than your family members.

Living on a second floor and parking on the side opposite the windows are pluses.  There’s also something to be said for having a sensitive A/C or heat thermostat or a constantly-running humidifier/dehumidifer when you step out.

But damned if that bolt lock doesn’t sound like a gunshot in the evening silence!  And trying to silence a tattletale cat who suddenly picks that time to get lovey-dovey can be hell.

I reckon one day my spouse will find out.  I may have to come clean at some point.  But I’m definitely not ready to do so yet.  I’ll take one day at a time.

In the meantime, the drugstore sees a lot less of me and for that, I’m pretty dang happy.  In fact, I’ve filled the gaps with new friends at the local kretek shop.

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