i began rolling into consciousness the morning of friday 1/8 knowing it was time to do a little work and run some loads of laundry in anticipation of my 4:30pm departure time. as i sorted out the details in my head and stared up at the ceiling, i realized i had a little visitor. a visitor which felt akin to a softball nesting in my stomach (my actual stomach ... not the "stomach" some people reference when they are politely attempting to discuss their abdomen and its accompanying afflictions). no problem. i knew i just needed to pour some coffee down my gullet to clear out any "extra debris" that might be lingering unnecessarily in my "stomach".
so i showered. i drank coffee. i worked for an hour. i called NJ to say "holy shit my stomach's all cramped up and i almost feel a tiny bit nauseous but.... what? no no... it will pass and i will be joining you this weekend."
but as the clock ticked off the seconds after that fateful phone call, i felt my ability to wrestle off the increasing nausea to be fruitless until i eventually found myself traveling at lightning speed to my toilet in the far far other corner of my apartment.
just a little side note here: if there's one thing i do not fancy, it's vomiting. and it was at this point i realized i'd jinxed myself by recently patting myself on the back for not vomiting for such a damned long time (except for that one episode the day after thanksgiving 2003). i've never vomited in this apartment and i've always been concerned at how far away the toilet is relative to the size of my apartment.
*as can be seen from the above diagram, the unit is also rife with man-made obstacles seemingly designed to impede rapid progress to said toilet.
earlier in the game, i had been clever enough to cover the noticeably voluptuous cat-hair toupee my bathmat was sporting with a fresher, cleaner bathmat. after the action was over and as i lay like a giant in reverse prostration spanning a countryside full of miniature hills and valleys of strewn-about cat litter with one foot still attached to the cool ceramic skin of the toilet base and my upper torso twisted across fresh bathmat, i began hearing a "clink-plunk clink-plunk" coming from the distance of the other room. in my post-regurgitative state, i considered not caring about the source of the noise, nor the havoc which it was likely creating. i already knew it was water-related given the vast propensity of my apartment to offer up water from places no domicile should ever offer up water and also given the fact that a plumber had caused a small leak on to my toilet a few days prior while attempting to correct what he himself described as "quite a few problems".
then i decided the best time to move in a stomach virus situation was immediately following the purge... before the next wave of self-enforced immobility set in. i rose to my feet and fought off the sparkling stars threatening to down me in a more significant way. then i hurled myself on to my bed and tried to see from whence the carnage was coming, but to no avail. i placed a pitiful call to management (whose number i luckily have memorized for just such emergencies... water emergencies that is, not puke). i informed them the unit upstairs was leaking into my kitchen, but i was horribly ill and could not muster the energy to search for it. they all-too-nonchalantly mentioned it was probably the girl's tub and they'd send someone out. of course, this translated into sending the same plumber to my unit so i could drag myself out of bed looking like the face of ashen death lacking a bra and any semblance of fashion sense.
after realizing the leak was attempting to destroy the photos on the side of my fridge and the fluorescent bulbs above the kitchen cabinets, i called NJ to divulge my bad news just knowing he would think i was making this shit up. my harmless jokes were coming back to get me. but i was "glad" to have the concrete proof of vomit backing up my claims. he was the dutiful boyfriend who offers to risk all and come take care of me, while i was the dutiful girlfriend who wouldn't hear of him risking his golden stomach by letting him walk into a space festooned with viral debris.
then i rested. i watched the clock tick off the minutes as i tossed and turned and felt myself growing better. i noted through the part in my vertical blinds the gorgeous blue of the sky as it melted seamlessly up into a line of white cloudiness. for once, i didn't care too terribly much about missing a gorgeous day. i was in survival mode.
at 2pm. i truly believed the worst was over. then 2:30 struck and before i knew it, i was on my feet and running and i wasn't even sure yet why. this is where the juxtaposition of toilet to bed comes into play. it was a time where two feet would have made all the difference in the world. instead, i finished off the task and then realized my hand had been planted in its precursor. but god... who cared anymore?
i worked my way into evening tossing and turning in bed until i felt i could move long enough to make it to the couch. i actually started feeling a bit better. i was hella dehydrated and had managed to not dig into the grapefruit i had been staring at from bed. acid water was not what my stomach needed. i began dreaming of popsicles and soy ice cream and banana-fudge bullets and sprite. so i took NJ up on his offer to go to the store and swore he would not be allowed inside the red zone. he showed up at my door with popsicles and soy ice cream and sprite (3 out of 4's not bad) and i bragged how i'd been able to stand long enough to wash some dishes. times were looking up.
i cozied up on the couch with my ice cream and felt the rock return to my stomach. but i pushed through with a green popsicle. it was when the hot, salty tears began sprinkling my bowl of potato soup that i realized pms was on the couch with me. i tried unsuccessfully to hold back the sobs as i watched the two families struggle majestically on 20/20's obesity olympics.
then it was hour after hour of squirming painfully on the couch only to wake up frequently to a stiff neck and aching back and painful gullet until feeling i could stay vertical long enough to drag myself the 10 feet to my bed at 5am.
moral of the story: don't EVER talk about how long it's been since you've regurgitated. especially when you think you're being clever in finding pretend reasons to not go visit your boyfriend's family for post-xmas. because then, as an ironic gift from Fate, you'll have vomit as an excuse to not go to killeen just 15 minutes before your boyfriend calls you back to tell you his brother was called into work and no one is going to killeen until next weekend.
sub-moral: always keep a clean toilet bowl.