Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Poison Ivy

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Beatles version of the old song keeps playing over and over in my head.
I’m allergic, but not so bad as some, although if a plant breathes on me, I get the rash.
I’ve never had my throat close up, although I have had one eye closed once, when I got it as a boy scout all those years ago.
Combined with the fact that we brought in a new cat – and inevitably the problem such cats bring in fleas – we make a terrible family, all of us scratching – although unlike the cats, I try to resist.
There where and when of the contact with the evil plant remains a mystery since I tend to wander off the beaten path often. I do have a batch of the stuff in my back yard where I might have received a dose while cutting the lawn. But most likely, I encountered the plant when wandering in the remote portion of Bayonne behind the former A&P where the cats run wild and weeds grow over a small swamp.
I must have brushed my shoulder against it because my right shoulder and under arm are the worst hit portions with only a little spreading to my other arm.
None the less, it comes at a time when others I know suffer serious illness while I have for the most part in my life escaped with minor injury. My eyes are the worst part of my problems over the years which seem to be better now, while friends and family perish under the gloom of heart ailments and cancer.
So I consider myself lucky, and struggle with resisting itching rather than with resisting treatments that might leave me zombie-like or worse.
My life has always been a blessing, I attribute most to my mother whose daily rosaries kept me from harm at the worst of times, such as when the motorcycle gangs in LA tried to beat me up, or Billy Night Rider tried to shoot me, or even when the police pursued me and Mike Day in a high speed car chase in Portland.  I was even immune against the Manson Family when they decided to throw me out of an apartment in Las Vegas. They could have killed us, although I think they were a little bit under pressure since their goal at the time was to get Charlie Manson out of jail.
My mother’s prayers got me through more scrapes than I can recount, keeping me from jail to ill-fated romances, although her most persistent prayers were reserved for my first marriage. She always wanted me to reunite with my first wife and my child, and oddly enough, in its own fashion, during my mother’s funeral it did.

But prayers alone can’t save me from the ill weed of poison ivy, and as the song runs through my head I fight the urge to scratch and make it worse. There are some rashes that need to heal themselves, and patience is the only real cure.

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