Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Night I Took A Swig From My Flask

I am aware that the word flask has several definitions:
1. A small container, such as a bottle, having a narrow neck and usually a cap, especially:
a. A flat, relatively thin container for liquor.
b. A container or case for carrying gunpowder or shot.
c. A vial or round long-necked vessel for laboratory use.
2. A frame for holding a sand mold in a foundry.
Yet, from my perspective, the word conjures up a single, very clear image of my parents and other adults sipping on "adult beverages" to "keep warm." Let me try to explain:
My dad, a proud Columbia University graduate, took the family on an annual pilgrimage to a football game on what always seemed to be a freezing cold, rainy, windy Saturday when the icy gusts coming off the Hudson would chill you to the bones in minutes.  Columbia always seemed to lose, badly, and the "half time" show consisted of a bunch of former HS band students walking around the field playing some semblance of music.  I never understood or liked football as a child (I do understand the game now, thanks to Football for Dummies).  It was always a long day.  It was always a cold day.  My mother, who proudly embraced my dad's Alma matre as her own (claiming she earned her Mrs. there) passed the time by sipping from and passing around her "flask."  The vessel was always polished for the event and was monogrammed with her name.   

I have never consumed nor wanted to consume "adult beverages" from a flask at a football game or at any other event - perhaps I am not yet that grown up?  Yet, on Thursday night, as my lingering cough consumed my exhausted body, I did reach over to my purse, grab my ever present bottle of Mucinex Severe Cough syrup, efficiently squeezed and pushed the child proof top off, and as quickly as possible, took a "swig" a mouthful of the sweet, gluey substance that I hoped would quiet my cough for the next hour or so!    I was desperate for some relief and the cough drops were not working, but miraculously, the Mucinex helped just enough to get me through class! 

As we were leaving and reflecting on our writing this week, I did admit my own writing had been limited and that my still that "fighting" this pneumonia was taking its toll on my energy and ideas.  Quietly, one of my students volunteered, "You should write about how you took a swig from your flask to get through class tonight!"  Yikes, I guess I did!

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