Posts Tagged 'vomiting'

magic never smelled so good

i was out of town for a few days, hence the silence. (sorry, cupcake, your request for setting up some kind of “auto post” is incomprehensible future-talk to me.)

while out to dinner, we were swapping puke stories–naturally–and i was reminded of the first time i had to clean up vomit at a library.

three of us were manning the circulation desk during the after-work rush, helping three lines of people when i hear from the stacks to my right a LOUD RETCH. i think, “please please please let that just be a child having a tantrum.”

the next moment, a woman runs into frame, cutting across all three lines of people and dragging a child after her. the child is gazing helplessly ceiling-ward as a FOUNTAIN of vomit erupts from his mouth (an image that is burned into my brain forever), painting a swath from one end of the library to the restrooms at the opposite end, and finally disappearing into the men’s room.

at which point everything returns to normal. i let out a nervous little laugh and look at my coworkers, who continue to work with robot-like focus. i look at the patrons advancing in line and not a single face has changed expression. despite the fact that a crazy woman/boy duo just streaked past, NO ONE HAS NOTICED A THING. and they are all now walking through vomit.

because i was a rookie and i didn’t know any better, i grabbed rubber gloves, cleaning supplies and went to town. herding oblivious patrons. mopping up floor, walls, and shelves all along the path of destruction. gagging. glaring at the mother and child, who are now out of the restroom and BROWSING FOR VIDEOS. that’s gratitude.

ah, the folly of those rookie days. now i know better. now I am best friends with SUPERSORB, a magic, orange-creamsicle-smelling cover-it-and-forget-it MAGIC (yes that’s two magics) powder so powerful that children for some reason find it impossible to resist touching. now when biohazard strikes, i toss on the powder, put a traffic cone by it and call it good.

sure it’s an eyesore and people constantly ask “what is that.” I just tell them, “It’s Magic, kids. Keep your fingers out of it.”

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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┬ádriving 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.