Went to see S. in a play.
Packed a box of Soothers to repress my cough – a goodbye gift from my flu party.
Everything was going well, the play was quite entertaining and was staged in a very intimate studio with about 30 seats or so. Maybe less.
Three fourths into the play my unfortunately timed cough shows up.
I try to imagine it away.
Like a lingering guest, it just won’t leave.
There is no escape from the studio. There are only 3 rows of seats. People are on either side of me and I’m too far from the only door to escape without disruption. Agony.
I try to suppress the urge to cough instead. If it has no release it won’t come back (so I naively hope).
That doesn’t work. I can feel it tickling and gurgling in my throat.
I can barely breathe from the effort to trying not to cough. I sense my neighbours irritation on either side and can do nothing. I would like the floor to swallow me whole.
I’m making little choking and gagging noises as little coughs are attempting to force their way out of my tightly closed mouth. My breath is rasping and ragged. I’m sweating from the humiliation of it all.
Oh the humiliation.
I try to sneak in a cough or two in the hope that that’ll be the end of it. It doesn’t work. I eat another Soother. It’s not helping. Nothing is helping. Tears are now steaming down my face. I put my hand over my mouth to hold them in. I. want. to. Die.
I’m praying the play will end. Please please please let this play end. When will this play ever end??? It’s bloody bastard bugger interminable!! Why is it 2 hours long! Why so long! Why is there no interval?? Fuck fuck fucketty fucker Oh christ oh lord oh Zarathustra!!
The last 30 minutes of the play, to say the least, were excruciating. Dreadful business. I hope to erase the whole thing from my memory now that I’ve purged it on my blog.
Worst of all S. said the actors drew up a list of complaints about the audience and ‘the cougher’ was one of them. She said I shouldn’t mention it if I met them. They hate me. The coughing apparently ‘threw them’ (these diva actors are so delicate, no grit they have these days. Tsk. It was hardly voluntary!)
But luckily I didn’t meet them and S. didn’t invite me to. So I left shortly after the play.
P.S. – S. also mentioned there was a crinkling-sweet-wrapper-noise on the complaint list…..
that may or may not have been my Soothers packet….
I decided not to bring that up.