Tags: choking, help, restaurant
It was just another end-of-season soccer party…or was it? Accompanying a team of nine-year-old girls at the local pizza place. The girls were laughing. The mothers were talking at separate tables, letting the girls mingle and giggle.
The mothers had barely said 10 words to each other during the soccer season. Maybe a little chit-chat at the games. This was a chance to get to know each other. Strangers with fake smile, making small talk.
It was uncomfortable.
There was pizza and salad. Iceberg lettuce with cucumbers and Ranch dressing. Cheese pizza. I couldn’t resist a big, fat slice.
Talking to another mother, chewing the thick crust, a glob of dough suddenly stuck in my throat. I couldn’t breathe. The mother kept talking
to at me. Telling me about Halloween costumes. After all, it was late October. I zoned out. But was trying to be polite.
I was quietly choking. And trying not to panic.
I played it off. The crust wouldn’t go up. It wouldn’t go down. My airway was completely clogged.
I started to panic. But instead of motioning for help, I stood up and walked toward the door. Trying to breathe, I couldn’t. Full body sweat.
Air wasn’t going through. The doughy crust wasn’t breaking apart and wasn’t getting soft. I was wheezing and gasping. A morbid thought passed through me.
I looked across the room at my daughter–freshly showered post-game with her ponytail still damp–smiling and chatting with her friends. I leaned over, willing that crust to go up or down. “Do it for your daughter,” I willed.
No one seemed to notice me. And I didn’t call attention to myself. I was quietly choking.
After a few minutes, the saliva finally worked its magic and the crust finally went down. Tears were streaming down my reddened face.
Wiping them off with my sleeve, I resumed my place at the Mom table.
And proceeded to announce that my daughter would be a werewolf for Halloween.