After sleeping most of the day, we finally ventured back into Manhattan, where we visited Central Park, took dozens of pictures and ate dinner at an Irish Pub on the Upper West Side — and by “ate dinner,” I mean my wife had exactly 3 bites of broccoli cheese soup and one sip of beer. (The only thing she could stomach was a near-lethal dose of Imodium). This may seem like a lot of activity given my wife’s weakened state, but trust me when I say this woman is tough. Tough as balls. Big, swinging, cast-iron, German balls. She had a great time that day, and except for the sunken cheeks and dark bags under her eyes, you’d never guess she spent the previous night filling our toilet bowl full of wet cheese and trichinosis.
We returned to our hostel room and tried to watch Shrek Forever After on my laptop, but fell promptly to sleep because Shrek sucks. When we woke from our nap, it had been roughly 24 hours since our meal in Little Italy, and that was when I felt the first tugs of sickness in my stomach. I was soon nauseous, bloated and weak, yet foolishly optimistic about my chances of escaping the nightmare to which my wife had so spectacularly succumbed. Still, we took the L Train back into Manhattan and met one of my old art school buddies at a little dive bar in the Lower East Side.
The bar was small, dark and the jukebox played nothing but death metal. To be fair, everything sounded like death metal to me; I was deathly pale, my abdomen was full of gas and I had a headache. My physical state was declining so rapidly I was unable to finish my beer (this has never happened to me before in my entire life). At one point, my wife took a picture of my friend and I hunched over the bar, and a desperate mantra began cycling through my mind while I waited for the flash — “Ohgodhurryup, ohgodhurryup, ohgodhurryup…” The moment that flash went off, I jumped off of my barstool, sprinted to the men’s room and projectile vomited so violently I hurt my back. Now, I’ve seen the photograph my wife took just before I hurled, and if I hadn’t been there in person, I would have sworn that picture was taken of my good good college friend sitting beside Milkface the Dying Oregonian.
The Wife and I excused ourselves for the evening and headed back to Brooklyn, and it was there, in the shared bathroom of our hostel, where I found religion. I am not a religious man — never have been — but that night I prayed to God. I prayed real good. Every 30 minutes, in fact, while peering deep into that porcelain void, I begged God to make it stop. But God did not answer my prayers. Instead, he decided I should start throwing up while loading my shorts at the same time. And just like my wife, I was purging my ungrateful soul out of both ends. I soiled 4 pairs of boxer shorts that night, which I angrily stuffed into the bathroom garbage can. (My wife actually went so far as to wash her panties and keep them, and she even tried to wash mine the next day, but they’d already been taken elsewhere by the cleaners.) I took 3 showers that night, brushed my teeth 4 times and changed into every last set of clothing I’d packed. Sometimes, a second or two after emerging clean and hopeful from a shower, I would vomit and spray diarrhea down my legs, sigh, and return to the shower once more. I don’t know what crime I committed in my past life to deserve this torment, but it must have been spectacular.
Toward the early hours of the morning, after I’d long since graduated to dry heaves so vicious they burst the blood vessels in my eyes, I somehow, mercifully, fell asleep. I rested for 45 minutes before jerking wide awake, instantly aware of the fact that I’d just shat the bed. I waddled to the bathroom and cleaned myself up while my wife removed the soiled sheets, cleaned the bedspread and covered it with clean towels. I returned to our room a broken man: pale, weak, shivering and ashamed. I was about as appealing as a bag full of smashed assholes. But my wife gathered me up in her arms and laid me down. She spooned me and held a warm water bottle to my stomach. She was amazing, and she proved to me for the millionth time why she is the love of my life.
Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part IV
Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part III
Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part II
Click here to read New York Liaison: A Tale of Love and Projectile Vomiting in the Big Apple – Part I
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