This One is About Puking
11:41 a.m. on August 17, 2004
I think I have puked an average amount in my lifetime, but more than I would like to have puked. When I was young, I puked on a the winding road back from the coast and once after riding the Gravitron at the fair 5 times in a row. Once I even puked after drinking two glasses of warm water really fast. Probably the most I have puked was New Years Eve 1998. I drank way too many glasses of vodka cran that night. When I woke up in my studio apartment the next day, there was carnage everywhere. Vomit decorated the walls, the bathtub, the sink, the kitchen floor, etc. I had no recollection of what happened once I got home, but I must have been wandering around my apartment indiscriminately hurling chunks and smashing my head against things, as my noggin was covered with bumps and bruises.

I puked the night my first husband left me before I even knew he was gone. I was out late with my good friend and we were taking the bus to her house. As soon as we got off the bus, I spewed into the street. My friend surprised me by examining the contents: “Is that French fries?” I am still not sure why I puked. Was it the weird over-the-counter trucker speed pills we took earlier, or was it some sort of premonition of the ache that awaited me at home; Brian gone, no note, no nothing.

I also must vomit at times of severe distress, because the day after the doctor told us of my Mother’s diagnosis and her time frame for survival (three months to one year), I ended up puking so much I was debilitated for the rest of the day. I wanted to take care of my Mom & comfort her, but once again she had to take care of me. She died three and a half month later and I ended up throwing up all the rest of that night in a never-ending purge of grief.

The last time I puked was at a friend’s Cosmopolitan party last year. I had it in my mind that I wanted to get shit faced to see if my true emotions would surface. I wondered if I would sit in a corner and cry in a drunken, heaving mess, or if I would have an outburst of slurred anger, or if I would hysterically dance on the furniture. To my surprise, I was mainly happy, laughing and having fun, until I needed to just lie down in the corner to stop the world of swirling. I had a sweet moment with my dear friend who came to lie on the floor with me for a bit. We were holding hands and talking when a song came on at that exact moment that had meant something to our friendship (it did seem weird that the MP3 player filled with 300 songs on shuffle play picked that precise moment to play our song). We sang along together and cried a little and it felt good. A little bit later, I did end up puking in the bathroom sink. After heaving several times, I looked in the mirror and asked my slobbering reflection if this was some kind of cry for help, but then Sasha took me home, pulling over once before entering the freeway to let me spew on the side of the road. I sure hope I rinsed out the sink before we left.





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