Throwing Up Throw-Up
Had I known what was awaited me, I would have turned back, but there is no knowing what awaits, and forward I did trudge. I awoke early. The day of embarkation snuck innocuously through my blinds. There was getting dressed. There was a breakfast of cinnamon buns and NHL 2K11. I lost in overtime. Lil Ray gloated. Disheartened, I returned to my room, strong-armed a few superfluous dress shirts into my wheelie suitcase. At high noon the conversion van pulled up to Rindone HQ. The Fam sardined in. Our luggage was sardined into a trailer that was hitched to the conversion van within which The Fam was sardined. We were off.
On the way, our conversion van came to a red light. To the van’s immediate right was a Bizarro World Fam crammed into a identical conversion van with an identical trailer. Unlike The Fam, Bizarro World Fam was completely miserable, puss-faced and woefully staring across the sliver of asphalt to the exuberant Fam. The Fam took this as a challenge. Big Ray commanded the driver to floor it on green. Bizarro Fam’s conversion van seemed to sigh. The Fam began to chant its war cry mantra: “FAMILY CRUISE. FAMILY CRUISE.” No change came across the faces of Bizarro Fam, a real life real sad still life. When the green light came neither driver floored it. Nevertheless, The Fam’s van lurched ahead with enough promise to intimate victory. Victory was its.
The van was unloaded. The Fam merged into lines, unpacked its laptops, set off metal detectors, repacked its laptops, merged into further lines, weathered a bureaucratic maelstrom, reconvened, were subdivided for facial recognition scans veiled as family photos, reconvened, stepped right-foot-first onto ascending labyrinthine glass enclosure after ascending labyrinthine glass enclosure, boarded.
Immediately, we went to buffet. We were extorted into using a malodorous hand sanitizer. The scent was unplaceable and totally unique. I decided I would describe it by week’s end. The Fam gathered its feast. Within five minutes, Big Ray had annexed seven tables by employing an arsenal of hats, pullovers, partially finished plates from adjacent tables. Lil Ray began his quest to best his Most Ice Creams Consumed During a Weeklong Cruise record of 67. Noni joined him, for one ice cream. The Momma joined him, for one ice cream. Me and Steffy schoolgirl giggled about something terribly unfunny. Jordy realized what she had gotten herself into and made puddle eyes and hung her head. Out of nowhere, my stomach offered up a grumbly complaint.
I said, “I think I have a tummyache.”
“Someone’s got the agita,” giggled Steffy.
“Not the agita,” moaned Banana.
“Carrrrrmmmmm,” Carmed Noni.
“Do you want The Momma to get you a ginger ale?” asked The Momma.
“Do you want some ice cream?” offered Lil Ray.
“Raymond, he has the agita, leave him alone,” said Aunt Michele.
“I do love ginger ale,” I said. “But I should probably go throw up throw-up.”
“Car Car got chunks to blow?” asked The Fam, nearly concerned.
“Chunks I am going to blow,” I confirmed, leaving.
Over the next twelve hours I became very intimate with porcelain of Stateroom 13098’s toilet bowl. First, before any vomming took place, I wanted to get my bearings on the room. Luckily, this took a blink, and I was able to get right to throwing up.
AN ASIDE ABOUT THE STATEROOMS OF THE NORWEGIAN EPIC:
There are economic usages of space and then there are coffins and then there are the staterooms on The Norwegian Epic. Our personal 13098 was an ergonomic pea pod of bed dominance and zilch space for movement. The Litigator could stretch his arms out and place palms flat to both walls of a cabin (This was verified later, after my death). The bathroom wall was a sheet. Simultaneously, theoretically, The Momma could wash her hands while I took a shower and Banana unspooled an entire roll of toilet paper without occupying the same space. Our sink was in the bedroom which was the living room. Same goes for the shower teleportation pod and bathroom teleportation pod, but the sheet provided them a modicum of privacy. The balconies were very nice. When flushed, the toilet emitted a deafening, cacophonous roar, which proved to be debilitating to someone who’s up to his hair in nausea, as I was.
BACK TO ME, UP TO MY HAIR IN NAUSEA:
By departure, I was five throw-ups deep and my insides were continuing their brutal knife fight undeterred. The ship’s undulating put my gastrodeath to an exponent. My moans ranged from eunuch Wookie to deflating balloon and back again. I regurgitated my meals in a tortuous reverse chronology. The Momma brought ginger ale and crackers. Up they came. We waited. Banana and Steffy checked in on my convalescence.
“You’re going to miss the pub crawl,” Banana said mournfully.
I stared at her blankly, hallucinating, convinced she was the spectral maiden of the sea come to whisk my soul to oblivion.
“Take me,” I drooled.
“Is he okay?” asked a concerned Steffy.
“You’re going to miss the Svedka Ice Bar,” persisted Banana.
It was as though a trapdoor opened up within me, and my naively ambling joy plummeted into a lightless pit, pulled forever into the full embrace of shadow.
Completely lucid, I said, “Take me to the Svedka Ice Bar. If you have to drag me, take me to the Svedka Ice Cream Bar…”
With that said, I slipped into a shallow coma. The Momma ordered them out. I did not dream.
I returned to consciousness a few hours later, yanked awake by a steaming chicken noodle soup. Convinced I was well enough to eat, I ate. Chicken noodle soup and cracker and a ginger ale. Up they came.
Defeated, I had The Momma rub my back and assure me everything was going to be okay as I experienced mild paroxysms and conversed with the reading lamp. The reading lamp proved itself to be a true conversationalist. Exhausted by my mania, The Momma fell asleep. I tried to read and the words bled together like egg yolks over a hot pan. I tried to watch Sportscenter for the eleventyfirst time but watching made me want to throw up throw-up. So I threw up throw-up a couple more times and rented The Kids are All Right.
I watched the rented The Kids are All Right. “Not bad,” I said to the room.
Banana and Steffy, blind with drink, returned to the 13098 at 4ish A.M.
“You missed the greatest night of our lives,” they said.
“Psh,” I scoffed, innerly crushed.
“We’re going to go bowling do you want to go bowling?”
“Let me get my shoes!” I said, leaping from my deathbed.
There was getting dressed. They let me get my shoes. I took one sweet step towards the door. I took three failing steps to the toilet. I collapsed to knees and bearhugged the porcelain bowl. Out they went. Up came the rest of what remained of me. Up came the toilet’s almighty roar. Up came the sun and another day I thought I wouldn’t live to see began.