Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Miracle at the Marriott.

WARNING: This may be my grossest, most TMI, most ALL CAPS post ever, but I cannot go on with my life until I put this out there. I have long recognized the therapeutic properties of confessional writing, and I am in desperate need of redemption and healing. 

But first, a little context. We’re in the Chicago area for a video game convention, and after a fun day of gaming and exploring, we check into our hotel around 9. Because we brought books with us (and are flying Southwest), we’re traveling “heavy”—four suitcases and four carry-on items. #bagsflyfree 

As Brett is checking in and I’m trying to corral some of our items from the curb (i.e., my hands are full), A BUG FLIES UP MY NOSE. I try to get it out, but not wanting to blow my nose au naturale on the sidewalk, I stagger inside to set down bags and find a Kleenex. I’m wiping and blowing, blowing and wiping and (gross level 5) black “stuff” is coming out of my right nostril, INCLUDING A SKINNY BUG LEG. 

In the lobby Brett gets our keys, and we’re about to head for the elevator. I’m desperate to flush my nose (and erase my memory), but Brett decides to get ice while we’re downstairs. He is down the hall long enough for me to question all my life choices and decide I will never survive this invasion, and oh-my-gosh, why does it feel like there’s something still in there? 

When Brett returns with the ice, I’m still in freak-out mode, so before we gather all our stuff, I try blowing my nose again. And this time, we have liftoff. When I look in the tissue (not my typical M.O., btw), I see (gross level 9) a MOTH. Wings, head, legs (five, I assume, since I had already seen one). A FREAKING MOTH. 

So as any good partner will do, I show it to Brett. In 27 years of marriage, I have never once offered or even attempted to show him anything that had come out of my nose, so you would THINK he would trust that this is an exceptional moment, an occasion worthy of the level-9 gross-out. But he responds, as one who hasn’t known me for nearly three decades might, with, “Ew! No! I don’t want to see that!”

But then. Then. 

As I’m standing there, evidence-laden Kleenex aloft, smack dab in the middle of the Elmhurst Courtyard by Marriott lobby, a miracle occurs. The moth, that filthy, five-legged interloper, TAKES FLIGHT. And Brett, even in his disgusted, can’t-make-me-look state, witnesses it. A phoenix, rising from the tissue. Defiant. Determined. Proud. 

So the next time you see me, if you avert your eyes or avoid me entirely, I understand. And I am sorry if this visual has grossed you out or made you aware of an unthinkable possibility. But this story, much like my unwelcome invader, had to spread its wings. 

#keepingitreal #notoverit #nevergettingoverit

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