Sunday, May 23, 2010

Perspective. T Says...

He sits naked on the toilet, folded at the waist, heaving, hurling and gagging into a plastic liner inside an oversized trash can. Shit runs down his leg and now my arms as he reaches up between retching to hand me his shit dripping underwear, stuck inside his shorts.

It is 3:42 a.m. and this is maybe the twelfth, thirteenth time he's puked since 10 last evening, the first time catching him so suddenly he could only stand from the couch and silently spew puke all over the living room rug, couch, dog and floor.  

I pull my sweaty t-shirt over my mouth and nose, breathe through it and for an instant I am thankful for my allergies and inability to smell most of this, but then it punches me hard and I gag, my own stomach suddenly hurtling upward.

I take his clothes and dash for the utility sink down the hall and as the water echoes on the bottom of the sink I hear him puke again.  Again.  

I rinse shit down the drain between breaths and throw the pile of clothes in the washer, wet a towel to clean his legs and another for his face.  Sweat drips between my boobs, down my back, fills my eyebrows.  All I can smell is puke and then shit. Shit and then puke.

Back in the bathroom I frantically pull Clorox wipes from their container and wipe: the walls, floor, toilet.  He sits there silent now, the calm after the storm maybe, and then suddenly lurches forward, grabs the trash can, retches again.  I wipe his forehead, his back and he clings to the toilet seat and hurls. 

A single tear slides down his cheek.  I trace it with my finger, wipe his forehead again.  His stomach stops its hurtling  and he gazes up at me: I'm so sorry, momma.

A few seconds, minutes pass, me on my knees on the hardwood floor, him naked on the toilet, still hanging on. He looks so pale, so tired. His voice is quiet and distant and he says:

I have never felt more sorry in my whole life than I do right now for the people with the cancer, mom. The ones with the chemo, they puke like this every single day.

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