Thursday, June 3, 2010

Asthma Sucks

The seeds of chili peppers have infiltrated my lungs. The heat and juice of these peppers are closing my breathing passages. I've been hacking up a storm everywhere I go obtaining frightened looks from co-workers and people on the train. A bouquet of peppers have bloomed in the center of my chest and they are content to tickle my trachea all day.

One time when I was working at the Italian restaurant my side work was to empty all the shakers of crushed red pepper so they could be washed. I set up this operation at the table where staff usually hung out at when it was slow. Since this was near closing time it seemed like the right spot. I opened all 42 shakers and proceeded to dump all the crushed red pepper out. The pepper made my nose itch. Then I sneezed a lot. When I was nearly half way done I started coughing like crazy. I stopped for a moment and backed away from the pepper to catch my breath. I went back and tried to do it faster but realized that I wasn't the only one coughing. The aroma of the crushed pepper was making its way to the lungs of customers. I had four other people hacking away and actually overheard someone say, "Where is that coming from?" Common sense should have told me to keep this project entirely away from customers but it waited until it was too late and there were complaints. Luckily the table was a little hidden and only one person loudly said "Oh it's her. She's doing that out in the dining room." I hurriedly moved the project into the kitchen where the bus guys and I were the only ones left to suffer.

I always think of this when I have an asthma attack. The only way to describe how it feels is to imagine sticking your head into a large container of crushed red pepper and taking deep inhales.

In one of my favorite films, Woman On Top, the main character teaches a class about cooking with spicy ingredients. There is an incredibly beautiful scene where Penelope Cruz inhales deeply from a chili pepper and it brings her back to a moment in the kitchen with her husband. He rubs the oil of a chili pepper on her lips and....see the movie. It's cute. Anyway during the 10th time I've watched this I thought about what that would be like if I were the actress. They would have needed a considerable amount of takes to catch me without a deep bark erupting from my throat.

I love spicy food, but don't really cook any.

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