“I’m dying,” the wife said in a way we all knew she was not.
She has been fighting a terrible allergy that causes snot to drip. That creates a horrible dry cough mixed with wet heaves of mucus to relieve her cloudy lungs.
It’s middle-of-the-night runs to the bathroom to clear the airway and mornings of hacking up the night. Once she’s up and moving, she’s generally better. Generally.
So what was my brilliant idea for entertainment while we vacationed in La Jolla…
“Hey you want to go to the Comedy Store? Sunday is the only night it’s not sold out.”
She said “yes”. It ended in some regret.
The comedians were good — you could say “killing it.” Building the laughter one upon the other. The audience was loud, engaged and just the right amount of drunk.
The wife had her bag of cough drops. She’s taking a new cough suppressant after a virtual visit to the doc. She’s on mucinex and flowmax. She was ordering drinks that didn’t irritate her throat.
But when the jokes hit home about relationships or bad behavior of partners, I pat her knee and look to make eye contact. It’s just past our 35th anniversary, and this trip was sort of a celebration. It’s fun to laugh at all the single-people problems.
But her eyes are puffy and watery. She’s holding a kleenex over her mouth. She’s smiling and coughing and gagging and waving me away with her free hand.
She’s just trying to time her cough with the laughter of the crowd so she doesn’t disrupt the show.
Now I know why they give the comedians a microphone and crank the sound to “ear splitting,” while they shout and spit at the audience. It covers up any coughing or sniffling or thinking…
I ask her if she wants to leave.
She’s always tough like that.
She brought a mask, just in case someone complained about her coughing in a crowded room in the “waning” days of Covid. I guess ever since we passed 1 million dead US citizens, people don’t give a fuck about “the pandemic”.
No one said shit.
No one looked sideways at her for coughing every 5 minutes during a 2-hour show.
One person was wearing a mask, but he was seated far away, and I didn’t see him until we were walking out. I didn’t hear him coughing either. The beauty of a microphone cranked up to 11, and comedians who don’t want long pauses. Half the room could have had a covid cough and no one would have known.
The wife has had the cough for months. She has passed every Covid test along the way until we just stopped testing for the same symptoms.
She’s seen her primary doc, the lung specialists, the allergist. They are calling it allergies, but they can’t tell her want she is allergic too. She “passed” her allergy tests — as in no known allergies to plants, food or shit in the air.
Meanwhile, her lungs continue to fill every 4 hours, and that cough settles in at all the wrong times.
Maybe, we will just stick to binge watching Netflix at home for a while. Everyone else may have given up on being concerned about Covid, but it sucks to try and be “social” while hiding your socially unacceptable spouse and her “Covid” cough.