wisdom i found while staring into a toilet (and a naughty joke about liquids)

The other day my coworkers and I were in line at the deli when I clearly overheard this conversation going on at the nearest table:

“Once the vomiting has subsided… that’s all VOMITING, DRY HEAVING, and RETCHING… then you may start clear liquids, just a few sips at first…”

I thought maybe a doctor was giving orders over the phone. Or maybe a mother. But no, it was two women chatting animatedly over their turkey avocado wraps and talking in all caps about the technicolor yawn. The only thing i can think is: they’re nurses. (Growing up with a nurse, mealtime was always a perilous journey through shop talk featuring lots of “fluids.”)

As little as I wanted to think about driving the porcelain bus while downing my pilgrim on wheat, I had a realization. Having a broken heart feels a lot like flu. Bouts that come and go… you never know when to expect them and you can’t be sure when they’ll subside for good.

But there’s always a turning point with the flu, where you all of a sudden have a moment that’s completely free of nausea. Just when you’d almost forgotten what life was like without being on the verge of yarking, there it is! A blissful moment of freedom!

Every now and then I have a moment like that. Not just that sadness isn’t overwhelming me as often and coworkers are no longer discovering me crying over triangles of posterboard I’m cutting out for shark teeth… (more about random library tasks later) …no, this is a MOMENT when I realize that sadness isn’t even lurking just barely under the surface of everything I’m thinking, feeling, and doing. A moment when I forget I have any reason to be sad at all.

I know, I know, Deli Lady. The RETCHING and the HEAVING. As you were saying between bites of BLTA, it takes a while for them to fully go away. But I know those free moments are going to come around more and more frequently. And last longer and longer.

No guarantees on when I’ll be interested in liquids again, though. Clear or otherwise.


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