Written by: Penelope Michel
“Gigi, your kiss is broken.” The wisdom of a six-year-old. I cannot pucker my lips to kiss this precious angel. Some of us have broken bones or broken hearts. I have a broken kiss. My lip muscles never quite made it back after surgery, so I drool too. Sometimes my saliva runs, I really am a spitty thing. That is the stuff that makes life very hard. People don’t like to be spittied on! Can’t say I blame them. Now choking in a restaurant is an all-star event. I have pretty much mastered the art of walking very quickly to the restroom or out of the front door, so as not to mess up the dinner service and enjoyment of other patrons. It takes an act of will power to bring down the shoulders, not panic, relax the throat muscles, try a gentle breath, and then hack up the offending bolus. It is frightening. I have had the pleasure of being Heimliched in a wonderful little greasy spoon in Houston when attempting to do Mexican breakfast with a girlfriend. Thank heavens for one very observant and well-trained waitress. So much for that idea! Ah yes, that sweet rush of oxygen! So far so good, I am still here to tell the tale.