The Summer

It’s quite something to be allergic to the summer. I am of course referring to hayfever, rather than some vampiric sunshine intolerance1. I’ve had issues with pollen since my teenage years, to varying extents. Once, while riding a train in a South German forest, I needed piles of tissues held tightly against my face by my sunglasses to catch all of the various liquids pouring from me. This weekend, the histamine beast was awakened by returning to the home I grew up in. Stirling pollen has a real special tang that gets my sinuses going.

Now activated, as I walked to work this morning I thought I could see the allergens floating in the air. Little pockets of sneeze, ready to pounce. I was probably just distracting myself from thoughts of work.

Another distracting thought; who are the people we walk past every day? I mean specifically one woman in this case. I think I’ve overtaken her at the same point on my walk to the tram four times in the last seven days. I guess we have concurrent routines. I do try to walk on different routes to keep things fresh, to urgently avoid anything becoming a drudge.

But I wonder if there is an overarching meta-routine I don’t see the pattern for? My brain probably requests a change of route or timing at the same time as hers and we swap away the next day to join paths with two other commuters who have swapped from their secondary path and then all swap back at the same time. Basically we’re all cogs in a never-ending machine we can’t comprehend. But at least we have the illusion of choice. What if I said hello to one of my fellow cogs and explained all this? Then I’d definitely never see them again.

1 It is true I prefer the cold embrace of small, dark interior spaces in the otherworldly glow of a screen. No blood consumption though. Promise.

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