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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Romance of Food Poisoning

So, I woke up in the middle of the night tortured by gut pains like Alien was trying to bust out. No position could improve the pain. I had to get up, and wait it out for a couple of hours--let's not get explicit here, but they were not fun. 
I ran a hot bath, hoping that would help me relax and survive the gut explosions, and it did for a bit, until I had to lurch out and throw up. (Let's get explicit here.) 
Not only my throat, but the insides of my nostrils burned from stomach acid and I was pretty sure this was food poisoning and not a stomach flu. I didn't want to wake the kids. I grabbed a chair so I could be more comfortable--if that's at all possible. I hate throwing up. (As if someone could love it?) I get all shaky, cold and hot at the same time. Maybe King Henry V felt like this while he lay dying of dysentery on the battle field he loved so well. I just wanted to lay my head on the cool, floor (in our house, perpetually covered with leaky dog hair) and leak. (Gotta love Hank Cinq's haircut--I think it's coming back in style.) 

Then, I staggered up the hall and woke my poor husband, who is recovering from a cold and needs his sleep.  Hubby stayed with me while I moaned and urped and released the poisons from various orifices. I said, "Tell me a story about when you were little." He started to trot out all the ones I know. "No, about school. Tell me a story about when you were little in school." 

He was leaning against the counter. He thought a minute and then told me, "When I was four, there was a boy, he was bigger than me. I remember that. And I kicked him in the stomach. I got in big trouble. I had to write the proverbial lines on the board." 

"Wow," I said. "You could write when you were four?" 

"Wait. My papa was already in the states," he said. "So I was five. No, six. He was in the West. Yes, I was six. I was scared about my Oncle Maurice. I remember my Tante Marcelle making faces behind his back so that I wouldn't be scared."

"You were scared of Oncle Maurice?" In the stories, he's a kind man who makes people do the right thing. 

"Well, Marcel was the easy-going one." (Yes, there's an aunt Marcelle and an Oncle Marcel--the names sound the same, and I think they were married to one another, which means even they must have spent their lives confused.) 

"What did you have to write?" (I figured if you're writing something a hundred times, you'll remember.) 

"I don't know, 'Je ne jamais livrer un coup de pied à l'estomac de Didier.'" At least that's what I think he said--my French felt as shaky as I was at the moment.

"Tell me another story," I said. "About school." I'm not sure why I was fixated on school, but I know I sounded like our little one who loves these kind of tales.

"Well, there was a boy--this was in the states--at my school who was big and an athlete--I wasn't an athlete by any stretch of the imagination--and he was rough and kind of mean but I could do a sideways futball kick. So, with kickball, he figured out that we would run up the court, me with the ball, everybody chasing after him, and I would shoot him the ball and he would score every time. So he would always pick me first. I was the first kid picked by the best athlete of the school."

I had never heard these stories. That's amazing.

"Another," I said, still sounding like our youngest. By this time, I was done throwing up, so I was just waiting for the rest to pass through me. Spouse took my chair and told me another, after mentioning how sexy I looked (!) 

"I ran for Treasurer in High School," he said. "I have no idea why. And my papa drew for me these posters--'Don't Fight, Switch, vote for--' and he put my name. There was some cigarette commercial that used the slogan, 'I'd rather fight than Switch.'"

"What did the drawing look like?"

"It was a guy with a black eye, like in the cigarette ads."

I had no idea his father could draw--another of many talents for this man I never met. I love to draw, though I rarely get time for it, and our little one is turning out to be a gifted artist, while our oldest, when he tries, can also draw very well.

I was, by this time, exhausted. (Bed times stories are designed to be relaxing and these had worked.) I was ready to go back to bed, but not certain it was safe. Hubby took a towel and laid it on the sheets, just in case. I was still in pain, so we could only hold hands. I fell back to sleep right away. 

I don't think of Food Poisoning as romantic, or tales from elementary and high school as courtship, or a wife in the throes of earping, (etc,) as sexy. 

And yet, the Night of the Food Poisoning, was romantic in its own crazy way, with Hubby wooing and winning my heart all over again.

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