After that nice cup of dragon tea I felt refreshed and carried on unstacking, sorting and restacking.
A few days later (I lost track of time) I could easily get through the door when I entered or left. The folded boxes stuck inside each other, the signs of actual rubbish I wouldn’t be using any more, were more now and making up their own stack on one side. On the other side was the stack with contents that looked as if they still might be useful. Either that or they looked so unrecyclable I hoped they would prove reusable.
I had never worked so much in this kind of space before, and it was starting to affect me. A new kind of skin rash appeared, mainly around my arms and other working parts. If I just ignored it and carried on working the way I’d been used to doing before, the rash quickly swelled into clusters of threatening lumps. So instead I worked in smaller shifts, kept my skin more covered, took care to notice the early feeling of a new spot erupting and treated any spots I found with toothpaste, which seemed to work.
Between work spells I mentioned the situation to healers and others. While some treatments seemed to bring some relief, I went on living with the unusual feeling that anytime I wanted a spectacular allergic reaction (as if I ever would) I could produce one by working hard and carelessly for only a few minutes.
Maybe there was something in that dragon tea I hadn’t expected. Or was it all the dust in the room?