produce, and no, i don’t have a garden

The thing about having chemical pneumonia is that I can’t spit.

Believe me I’ve tried. I cough and hack and cough and choke and I somehow manage to produce a little teesny bit of ‘stuff’ but I can’t get it out of my mouth! I know. This is too gross.

I’ve been coughing for nearly a month now.

It hurts to cough. It throws my back out. Seriously, I can hardly walk after a coughing jag! It hurts my chest and my abdomen and, actually, my whole head and shoulder area. I want need to figure out how to get all this gunk out so it can be over. Finally.

I know. Slippery Elm. Working on that right this very minute.

Today I practiced. I had gone out to the dumpsters to take out a 60-gal trash can, and I started coughing like an asthmatic fool. Leaning-over coughing. Tears-running-down-my-cheeks coughing! Tooting-while-I-cough coughing. You know the kind. And I could feel a string of gunk trying to make it’s way up and out. I coughed harder than usual to try to help it along and finally could tell I had something going. But, I tried to spit and it was stuck. Totally stuck. It was on my tongue. I know. I know. More gross. But this has to be told.

I tried to get it to a place where I could just ‘whooie’ it out. But, instead I started gaging and actually threw up a little on the ground next to the dumpster. My mascara was running down my face and some runny stuff had escaped both my nose and my, um, lady parts. I hurried to the car and grabbed a Kleenex to clean up various wet areas and finally just grabbed the stuff off my tongue with the rest of the Kleenex. Eee-uck! Then I had to pick the Tissue off my tongue, too.

Now, here’s what I don’t get.

All day long I hear teenage boys coughing and hacking and spitting all over the place. They kind of get this thing going in their nose and throat. KKKKKWWWWUUUUUCKKKKK! Hock a Poooooie! Splat! They aim at the garbage but hit the wall. Every single time I walk into the bathroom there’s a loogie on the urinal or the sink. They spit in my planters, on the doors, on the carpet and on the commons tile. HAD it with teenage boys.

So, if they can ‘produce’ that kind of volume on a regular basis without ever having chemical pneumonia, why can’t I — who really, really needs to ‘produce’ — work up a respectable spit?

Life is ironic isn’t it? People who want babies can’t seem to get them here. People who want to be skinny can’t seem to get skinny; people who want to be loved can’t seem to find it, and now, people who need to spit can’t manage it. I swear!