Cure for the Common Cold
Authors Note: As fall and winter creep into my life and flu season rears its ugly little head on the horizon, I thought you all might need a good story about a trip to DC that helped me find the cure for the common cold. Enjoy!!
A couple of things about travelling too much!! Well one thing about travelling too much. NO TIME TO BLOG. After traversing here and there and here and there and here and there I figured I should finish up the 4 or 5 blog posts that have remained nestled on my laptop for the past month. It all came to me as I was trying to book my ticket home for my grandmothers funeral. It seemed to me like so many things were not in my favor while waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for the date of the funeral to finally appear on my “schedule.” It all started on a work trip to dc which I had designed, and what seemed to be a great idea, to be a wonderful trip filled with work and play. I would attend what seemed to be an amazing conference in the day and play with my bestest DC buddies at night. As I planned for my presentation on the first day of the conference it seemed like this would be a great week. What I shortly found while trying to find a plug for my laptop in my plush boutique hotel room is that my plans would turn 3 days of dozing, learning, sweating, boating, eating, dancing, sipping, sneezing, coughing, nose-blowing, networking, chilling, napping, relaxing, eating, savoring, giggling, laughing, reflecting and suaning (yes I am making up my own word – sauna + ing = sauning) my ass off on the Northeast Amtrak train from DC to NYC. Anywho, this trip to DC was filled with me entering a swanky new “boutique” like hotel chain. The Renaissance Crystal City apparently offers everything a chic young adult would love. Modern fixtures, too much AC, beautiful people (this includes the ridiculously friendly staff) and enough cable television channels to keep any sane person busy while hiding from the intense heat and stifling humidity. As I approached the hotel I only could think about the wonderfully spicy and hot Panang curry that I ate. Thanks to a friend/colleague, I was able to have some of the best curry that I have had in a long time. I mean who would have thought that by me avoiding the curry I usually order at Thai restaurants (Massaman curry) that I would discover my love for curries again. I am definitely going to work on perfecting this curry recipe. I not only loved the curry but went back for a second portion because it seemed to be the perfect thing that I needed to battle the flu-like cold that attacked me at about 1 am the night before my presentation. Now I mistook the symptoms as usual for an exposure to the dust I encountered while looking for a plug behind the lamp and nightstand in my room. I quickly found out in the morning that I was “getting” sick. It became utterly apparent halfway through my presentation that my body was shutting down quickly. By 4 pm I set out to find cold medicine which is always a clear indication – especially for those that DON’T LIKE TO TAKE MEDICINE – that they are feeling like crap and need to go to bed ASAP. While walking to the store I realized 1. That I hate AC especially when it makes you feel like you have frostbite and 2. Country blocks are too long for works. I am definitely used to the typical city block and for a moment thought that I had gotten my sick body in trouble. Luckily the medicine, ac and store were right around the corner. After resigning myself that I would not be making dinner with my buddies or anything else that night I lay in bed taking in what I could of the television, blowing my nose, coughing and hoping I would be ok for the next day. I awoke feeling a little bit worse but with the resolve that in order for me to justify attending an evening concert I would have to attend all conference sessions. And that is what I did. This is also where I realized how nasty the “cold” I had was. I sat in a plenary session sniffling, sneezing, answering emails, listening and doing my best to blow my nose when everyone applauded. At the end of the session that woman next to me said “oh honey. You are a trooper, I hope you feel better.” I thought dang its that bad, well maybe getting out on the Anacostia river will do me some good. Apparently I knew nothing about the reputation of the Anacostia. Good thing I didn’t cause it was amazing and depressing at the same time. Now my plan was to canoe or kayak down the river. In a last ditch decision I decided to not do my own rowing but to get on the boat that was powered by a motor and had a guide. This was by far one of the BEST decisions of my life, or at least I felt like it was at that point in time. As we began to learn all about the Anacostia Water Alliances work, the environmental and historical history of the river, I realized just how tired and sick I was. I began to fade while listening to the hum of the motor, watching the beautiful blue herrons, geese and white cranes take off and land on the river. The hot wind in my face provided the perfect contrast to the hot sticky weather that we were presented with and every once in awhile we would feel a couple of large rain drops cool our sun kissed heavily moistened well glistening skin. The 1.5 hour boat ride passed and I knew that I had conquered the day and was ready for my final tasks. A trip to an amazing new land. The land of Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs. Now when my friend told me about this concert, I was kind of excited but really had no idea what I was in for. I knew I was in for fun because anytime I hang out with my friend we have fun. I had warned these friends that I was a bit sick and if I fell asleep in the middle of the concert they shouldn’t be upset. They respected this and as we walked into an amazing national park (Wolf Trap National Park for Performing Arts) for the performing arts I was struck. Again, really again? Was I going to have to play the count the black people game again. I thought I wouldn’t have to play this game for at least another year?! Well…I didn’t have to play this game exactly. As I began to sit and sweat and use my waterbottle as an impromptu chiller, I realized that I was in for a treat. For those of you that don’t know Boz Scaggs sounds like a less buffed soulish less winey version of Aaron Neville. Not only was he amazing but his back up singer, Ms. Monet, did the most amazing version of Lets give me something to talk about” that I have ever heard. I was up dancing, singing, laughing and pretending like I was in church, almost forgetting about my cold. Until the Riesling set in. My tiny cup of Riesling began to make me fill tired. Between that and the smooth R & B hits of Michael Mcdonald, I was out for the count. I have no idea how long I was asleep but all I knew is that as soon as I heard one of my dads favorite Curtis Mayfield songs come on, I was up and ready to go. Now the amazingness of Curtis Mayfield was known to me at an early age but every once in awhile I hear that one song at the right time and it just takes over. The music slowly infiltrates my body, my being, my memory or past present and future. My hips begin to sway and I can do nothing but smile. As I look around I realize that many of the people around me also feel the same way. Some of us are less rhymthmically inclined but hey we are all great dancers in our own mind. As I sweat out my cold I hope that this headache that I feel will only last till I reach the air conditioned car. I realize, once we arrive at the hotel that is not the case. Its ok though, because I had a great night and will treasure my time spent with my two new friends: Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald. As I chat on the phone with my cousin and plan for attendance at the next days conference sessions, I wonder what sleep will bring me. After a couple hours I finally fall asleep. I wake up at 730 feeling better and realize 12 things - Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald, the Anacostia River, naps on a boat, too much air conditioning, lots of learning and networking, fun with friends, Riesling, water, humidity and natural deodorant are ALL the CURE FOR THE COMMON COLD.
Peace B. Still,