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A Little Credit

I suppose I don’t give this small, blue, plastic object casually lying next to me on my bed enough credit. There’s two more just like it over on my bookshelf and at least three others in the room, but please don’t ask me to locate them for you. I try not to let any of them dwell at the bottom of a bag for too long these days after many have taken me by surprise, shooting crumbs and mysterious debris down my throat and counteracting the objects whole point of being.

I have a matching one in brown. In fact over the years I’ve had many colours, but these are my steadfast. Not that I have any kind of choice in the matter of aesthetics here. I’ve long given up on hoping that they’ll look a little nicer, get given a makeover by a sympathetic designer. I’ve had various contraptions that aid in the administering of its contents, but I prefer to keep it as simple as I can. My favourite, and consequently the most conspicuous, was the large domed accessory reminiscent of a blimp and bigger than my head.

Most of the words associated with my little blue reliever are foreign–beta2-adrenergic agonist or bronchospasm. I didn’t understand them when I was first given one, at age four, and I still don’t. My boyfriend has taken to having a cheeky puff now and then, mainly when he’s been exercising in the cold. I remember one fateful day, aged 14, cycling to visit my mum at work. There was a slight chill in the air and I had, as is commonplace, forgotten my less-than treasured object, two plastic cuboid-ish shapes stuck together with a silver top hat, and I was shortly admitted to hospital. Luckily, this happened on arrival since my mum was a nurse. Even then I suppose I felt I was above it, I didn’t really need it, I could kind of do without it. I’m not sure I’ve shaken this attitude actually; I wonder how many of my kind do the same?

Today it’s lying next to me as I’ve been resigned to bed with a heavy cough which apparently makes it all the more essential, something that slips my mind until I absolutely must re-learn this information. I had forgotten what a pain it is to have to use so often, to be so desperate for it when the majority of the time I’m being reprimanded for not using it enough.

When I think about it, I spend quite a lot of money on them, particularly since they are often misplaced and I need to request more. Off the top of my head, I can’t name another object I spend money on but don’t really want to, eternally relinquishing without question seeing as the alternative is conceivable death. When you understand that annually over 250,000 people globally sadly do lose their life this way, you begin to question where we might be without this unremarkable pocket lifeguard.

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