A prayer for useful data

by Jon Sullivan - 2023-04-17 - Status

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My three day weekend adventure was vast and incredible and filled with love and wonder. Let's break it down.

The allergy problem - Last week I had so much trouble breathing that I needed to have a friend come over and potentially get me to the ER. I couldn't catch my breath, was gulping air, and started to feel light headed. They happened to have an asthma inhaler and that along with calmingly talking me down got me back to normal. As we talked they asked if I'd ever had allergies or asthma. And I had one of those oh shit realizations, that the asthma and allergies I'd been free of for 25 years while in the desert were back due to my move to a city where the air is 50% pollen. Fuck. This is bad.

I'd been exhausted and stuck in a brain fog for weeks. Now it was all clear. I wasn't lazy and depressed over being unemployed. I was legit sick from the plague of my youth. And, since I am Jon, I didn't go to the doctor or look into treatment. I headed into the forest in search of pollen. For data. Will this new life of outdoor adventures kill me? Will I be too drowsy for road trips? If I'm alone in the wilderness and can't breathe, will OTC drugs save me? I know you are all rolling your eyes and shaking your head. Tough shit. It's how I've ALWAYS lived my life. I just add it to the endless list of deadly stuff that has failed to kill me for 60 years.

Look...... We all die. I've told you before, and I'll tell you again now. I'll die of asphyxiation. And it's come close enough to killing me so many times that I can assure you, it will be a very calm and comforting way to go. We all die. At least I know how I will go down, and it holds no fear for me. In the meantime - adventures.

"Fine Jon. You love to flirt with Death. Fuck you, but what about the data?" I spent a long time in Olympic National Park, hiking for miles, smelling flowers, crushing up plants and inhaling them, wading through fields of green. Nothing. Zero allergy symptoms. So..... WTF.... I'm cured for no reason? No. After driving home and getting the best sleep I've had in a couple months, I woke to brain fog, itchy eyes, exhaustion, raw throat. So it looks like I'm only allergic to the exact spot I picked to pay rent for??? Not sure. But we have data. Research will continue.

The Trip - Friday was a touristy visit to Portland to wander around the gardens and woods there. And continue my quest for Oregon's best fish & chips. And go to a GBB concert because apparently I now love hippie jam bands??? Results - Zero allergy issues, Flying Fish has really good fish & chips (don't avoid the kale slaw), and while jam bands aren't ever going to be my favorite, hanging out in room filled with people who do love them brings me joy. So much joy. So much love. I love being packed in with loving people. And yes Sharon, this means I apparently now love going to Jerry Joseph concerts. You win.

Saturday was a long drive up to Huh Forest for pollen immersion after only sleeping three hours. For data. Right? I only fell asleep twice while on twisty mountain roads. Which scared me a lot. So I need to make some adjustments for that. Likely putting a mattress in the back of the Passport so I can pull off anywhere and get some legit sleep in. The Washington coast is beautiful and magical. There are great photos there. I will take all of them.

Sunday was meeting up in Seattle with old friends from my Irvine days in the 90s. It was happy making. It was joyous. It was so fun it brought me to tears a few times, as it does now remembering it. The plan was to have lunch at a Viking themed bistro. But randomly, serendipitously, magically, that Sunday was also their "drag brunch" day. I've never been to a drag show, or even watched one on TV, but I had such a wonderful time. I highly recommend doing it. And seeing my first drag show with this particular pair of old friends was....... I feel blessed. To have these two incredibly cool people back in my life in this way feels like the universe conspiring to hand me a miracle. So much hatred and anger in the world. But the show was the Venn intersection of love, and hope, and fun, and humanity, and surprise, and blessings. I've read my Bible. Jesus would have loved that drag show. I felt Him with me there, even though I call him by a different name.

This is why I moved here. New adventures and new joy. Leaving the hermit hole behind and trekking out into the light. It was three days of wonderful. I listened to a lot of Babymetal on the long drive home. They still feel like the house band for my joy. What are these tears? Allergies? Or so so so much happy I can't contain it.

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