AAACHOOOO!!! My conversation was cut short as I hastily whipped my head to the left and brought up my arm just in time to block my sneeze before covering the lady two feet in front of me with a goobery barrage of Chris germs. “¡Perdóneme!” I said while fervently searching my pockets for anything to wipe my nose with. I had inconveniently used the last of my tissue paper just minutes before. The only option was to keep my arm up in front of my face; to bring it down would mean displaying to the world the inner workings of my nasal cavity.
The sneeze had made my eyes water, adding to their itchy redness. “I’m not sick,” I hastily commented. “It’s just allergies; they’re killing me!”
The lady backed behind her entry-way door, sure that I was sick and contagious. “Then you should chew some beeswax,” she hastily replied. Though my arm still covered my face, our eyes made brief contact. Hers said, “Duh!” and mine said, “Are you crazy?”
The notion of chewing beeswax to cure allergies seemed preposterous to me—so preposterous, in fact, that I have never forgotten it. That was 10 years ago in Ipala, Guatemala, and I could still take you to the exact door where I sneezed. Not that it really matters (it was red, by the way), but it’s fun to think about visiting my old sneezing grounds. It’s almost like marking my territory, but we won’t go there. Moving on…