Vomit

I feel most in touch with my body when I’m dry-heaving. Most likely I’m in a pretty solid position, rooted to the floor and/or couch, focused like a bulimia athlete in the Olympic Vomitorium on that sweet sweet receptacle, whether it be toilet or mixing bowl or bucket or (hopefully not) ditch, trying not to move any other part of my body for fear of my inner ear’s fluids to capsize the already sinking ship of my body in a wave of hearty, humid, face-slapping nausea. Within the focus-tunnel I hear my insides wailing, my stomach (after selfishly digesting the food it had been gifted) becomes a remarkably selfless organ, giving and giving and giving even when it has nothing else to give, pulling the retch of a mouth-birthing-tenor out through my vocal chords and heaving lungs until people outside begin to scratch their heads and send nervous SMSs like “Are you… vomiting?” out of concerned curiosity. But really that isn’t my concern, because I’m safe with the receptacle, secure on the floor, my head bowed as low as possible to keep the slishing and sloshing of my cocktailed stomach acids, budget whisky, guacamole and beer at bay. The toilet bowl smells remarkably clean, a hospitable touch by the party’s host that I feel doubly guilty for absolutely ruining with my own insides. I feel in touch with what my body is feeling, but my body isn’t in touch with what its feeling — I wipe my forehead but it feels like both hand and brow are asleep, their dermal sensors devoted to willful oblivion of the disgusting, self-loathsome and richter-scale-humiliating activity the innards of their same person are devoted to. And this is all in absence of an audience, or at least at first, and then one slowly starts to grow, first one at a time a line of unwitting drunkards bumbling into the bathroom who then, both in a gesture that is supremely unhelpful yet respectful, leave me completely alone to continue bobbing on this tempestuous ocean of bile. It’s ok, she seems to have it together, she’s conscious — and in a way they were correct, I’d had the foresight to not only tie my hair back before even sitting on the ground, but also closing both doors to the bathroom and making sure that however I ended up humiliating myself, it wouldn’t be because of any exposed undergarment or stained collar. I rolled up my sleeves, put my hair back and went to work. The Selfless Stomach continues to give and give and while nothing of liquid or plasmic or solid mass is being given, a German opera of groans and heaves is being projected right into the amphitheater of the toilet bowl, probably a pretty good resonant space come to think of it, resonant enough to amplify my moans and the moans of all my ancestors into the party-space orbiting around my Bathroom of Solace. Eventually a lifeguard-trained and considerate friend, with help from some males that aren’t particularly phobic of the idea of a sick, pale, humiliated lady on bathroom linoleum, lift me in a choreography that evokes the image of a crucified figure being lifted from the cross, legs dangling beneath with each arm out parallel to the ground, supported by the sickee’s apostles, with a heavy head that hangs not only with a lack of blood sugar, hydration and self-preservation, but with experience and wisdom of the horrors of this world — a life wounded in the midst of its glory. My feet drag in an attempt to support the weight of the body above them but really everything is Gumby down there and we all know how many people had to adjust that guy to keep him in the right position and make even the illusion of motion happen. After what seems like hours of meticulous positioning and repositioning of my lumpy, light-headed body my magnanimous helpers manage to animate me just enough to find respite on a couch, prepared with any respectable lady’s bed-dressings, such as a red mop bucket, a glass of water, a ream of paper towels and a travel-sized tube of aspirin. Whether the party continued throughout this repositioning is quite unknown to me; I had no skills at orientating my own body parts and coordinating them into navigating a physical space, let alone identifying the moving parts/intentions of others. I thanked my saviors in the lingua franca of grunts and appreciate sighs, and then set about to find the ideal angle of head, neck, back and torso on the couch that would allow for multiple scenarios: (1) more vomiting, (2) access to water, (3) access to paper towels, (4) proper warmth, (5) proper head/inner-ear orientation, and perhaps the least important consideration, how to (6) maintain dignity. Constructing this human-mobile of dangling weights and humours is not easily achieved and my stomach reanimates with a belch and a hurl into the dark, beer-soaked world of the party’s living room. The storm’s worst waves had broken on the hull, and the water that the vessel had taken on had been successfully bucketed back into the outer world by dutiful sailors with well-defined arms and reliable buckets, but they had contracted a Fantasia obsession with bucketing, and long after the deck was dry they scraped and scraped at its dessicated surface, pitching air back overboard until their buckets scratched splintery crevices into the deck. In case this nautical metaphor is becoming too overbearing, the deck is my esophagus, which is now like a desert-nun’s vagina it’s so dry and blistering all the way from mouth to gut. But then a calm settles like a fluttering parachute-game over so many seven-year-olds — a fragile, lumpily-defined calm that may erupt at any time but for now is a shaky promise that I’ll accept, and I relax focus on My Dear Bucket, think solid, load-bearing thoughts, and fall asleep not regretting a single thing, that guacamole was amazing.