Sunday afternoon. I was getting into the car when the wave washed over me.
I’m not talking about the Alfred Hitchcock film with Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. This was a sudden wave of disorientation, nausea, and dizziness. Very similar to the sensation you get when your teenage daughter asks to borrow the car.
A few years ago, I had a recurring bout of vertigo. That was junior league stuff compared to this. My head was spinning like I’d been riding rollercoasters at Six Flags nonstop for eight hours. Fortunately, I was able to keep my lunch down and make it to church that evening.
But the fat lady was just warming up. As the congregation sang the opening hymn, I felt myself swaying in my pew, and not by choice. I realized this was not going away. I stood up and slowly made my way out through the vestibule to the front entrance.
Outside I paused for a moment, holding up the wall. The merry-go-round in my head was still open for business, giving no indication of closing anytime soon. A steady rain had been falling all afternoon. The soft, gentle rain that sounds like bacon frying. Now it sounded like an old mammoth-sized air conditioning unit, the kind that would dwarf a ’57 Buick. The parking lot looked like a small lake. If a huge gopher-wood ark had floated by, I wouldn’t have even blinked.
And my umbrella was in the car.
Well, well. I could stand here, eventually toppling over and crushing the bed of lovely daisies nearby like King Kong plummeting from the Empire State Building, or move on.
I moved on.
Resisting the impulse to gather up two animals of every species known to mankind, I lowered my head, insuring that every square inch of my glasses was covered in water, and launched myself out into the deluge.
The car was parked no more than fifteen feet from the entrance, but I could have written the sequel to War and Peace in the time it took me to reach it. With my head spinning like the rotors of a Bell Jet Ranger, I yanked open the rear door and collapsed on the seat, pleading with the gods of the carousel to take a coffee break.
“Nah, we’re good,” they shrugged. “You just sit back and enjoy the ride.”
I didn’t make it to the Jasper Men’s Chorale practice that night. Although it was losing steam, the vertigo hung around like that guy at the office who hovers over your cubicle every Monday morning, gulping coffee and yakking about that big game last weekend while you’re trying to work and, oh I don’t know, get on with your life. Somehow the lads managed to get through the rehearsal, minus one first tenor.
The next morning, I could stand upright without embracing the walls. All appeared to be back to normal—until I bent over to pull on my boots.
Somewhere the gods of the carousel were laughing their heads off.
The vertigo has been somewhat dormant for several days, possibly due to over the counter medication. My chiropractor tells me there is a treatment that does not involve medication. It was developed by a doctor who is a former vertigo sufferer. If the medication does not work, that will be my next option.
It sure beats spinning in the rain. 78